Jun 28, 2023
4 min read

Corporate cards and expense management in one: The second wave of digital transformation

People in front of a smart board managing enterprise spend across multiple entities with Payhawk
Quick summary

This article has been updated in December 2023 to include the latest data

Payhawk, a leading spend management solution, caters to SMEs and global enterprises across Europe, the US, and the UK. By combining features like company cards, reimbursable expenses, accounts payable, and seamless integration with accounting software, we simplify business payments for both finance and non-finance teams.

Table of Contents

    Many companies across different industries have been through a degree of digital transformation in the last few years. This transformation might have included changes like adopting multiple solutions for company cards and expense management, which at first seemed helpful but ended up providing a complex and disconnected view.

    At Payhawk, our global spend management software combines all of your corporate card and expense management needs into one easy-to-use solution, including:

    Improve spend visibility & control with Payhawk corporate cards

    Our comprehensive expense management solution includes many highly beneficial features, as mentioned above. These features equip companies with a wide range of capabilities and support savings in both time and cost. By leveraging the power of Payhawk, companies can unlock unbelievable efficiencies and advantages.

    Here are just a few examples of these transformative gains:

    • Reducing the Finance Controller's workload by 50% at our customer Essentia Analytics
    • Offering a genuinely global solution with low FX fees of just 1.99%, multi-entity management, and global per diems
    • Cutting month-end close by half (ten days to just five days)
    • A multilingual portal OCR in over 65 languages
    • Saving global business Heroes + 7 hours a day on data entry
    • Saving MDM Props 32 hours (four working days) of manual finance admin a week
    • Helping UK-based art fabrication company MDM Props save £240k per quarter via VAT reclaims thanks to correct receipt reconciliation
    • Helping German automotive company, ATU save €2 million per year thanks to correct receipt reconciliation

    Riding the second wave of digital transformation

    At Payhawk, we help people ride the second wave of digital transformation by putting everything they need in one place. No more switching between tools and screens. Plus, we consistently improve the features that help finance professionals get better control and visibility of corporate spend, making it easy to analyze spend data at their fingertips and make the right decisions at the right time.

    Carolina Einarasson, FD at our UK-based customer Essentia Analytics told us, "Before Payhawk, we used a couple of point solutions, excel, and a few different credit cards, but we didn't have an all-in-one centralized solution. The first thing I did when I became FD was to remove time-draining activities. For us, spend management was a quick win; we saw Payhawk as the future where we could have expense data entry, credit cards, approvals, spend requests, paying invoices, reimbursements, all in one."

    Saving time and supporting revenue generation with Payhawk

    At Payhawk, we equip our customers with the tools they need to save time and money and pour both back into endeavors that support business growth and stability. Since moving to us, Essentia Analytics has halved the time for the finance team to close their month from ten days to five. And this massive chunk of time-saving has led to tangible commercial benefits.

    "Saving time with Payhawk is a game changer. We've even been able to allocate resources to revenue-impacting teams, and we now have a finance employee who spends 50% of her time supporting as an SDR," said Carolina.

    As businesses grow and go global, some cost-saving and efficiency-boosting measures can go out of the window. But our features like subscription tracking, single sign-on, digital wallets, and mileage tracking leverage innovative technology to decentralize the finance admin and encourage accountability from cardholders.

    Enterprise-level support that's ahead of the competition

    We stand out in the competitive spend management market in several ways.** We're the only spend management solution that is genuinely enterprise-ready** and can support global customers across the globe. We offer some of the lowest FX fees on the market at just 1.99%, international per diems, globally-accepted Visa debit cards, UK and US credit cards, multi-entity management, custom workflows (based on project and cost center), mileage, and direct integrations with important ERPs and accounting software options. Our portal is multilingual, and our solution incorporates Google OCR so that we can automatically record invoices in over 65 languages.

    Unsurprisingly, we have some commonalities with our competitors. Still, we find that customers prefer our solution because of the strategic, accounting-led choices we've made while building and innovating within our product. For example, our data capture and ERP integrations operate by the accruals concept by differentiating between the invoice/receipt and payment recognition dates. This means more accuracy and less work for our customers.

    "Before switching to Payhawk spend management solution? We mainly did everything manually, which involved a lot of saving and chasing paper receipts," Uchenna, Finance manager at MDM Props, said. "Then, we briefly used Pleo, but it wasn't sophisticated enough for our needs. Our coding is intricate, and we needed to get all the information quickly and easily. We just felt that the user experience and layout in Payhawk was better and easier for cardholders and creatives to use."

    Likewise, Carolina Einarasson at Essentia Analytics felt that some competitors' platforms were more focused on shiny tech than solving the real problems faced by finance teams. "We chose Payhawk over Spendesk because we preferred the solution's flexibility and support," she explained. "Payhawk lets us quickly set up the correct workflows and choose which parts of the spend management flow to delegate to employees vs. the finance team. Payhawk has built the platform for finance leaders, and their team has been attentive and receptive from the get-go."

    See what our cards can do

    Seamless spend data synchronization

    Our native integrations with ERPs like NetSuite mean that our customers' data flows seamlessly from card payment to bank reconciliation. We've built our integration strategy around the accruals concept meaning finance teams and accountants avoid errors and save hours (and even days) of manual entry and checks.

    "We have five entities, with approx 300-500 expenses a month in the parent company. It used to take me one whole day per entity to review, import, and export and put the expenses in the correct format. With the direct Payhawk integration to NetSuite, I spend just an hour daily on this. It's an enormous help," said Eduardo Felipez, Management Accountant at Heroes.

    Spend control features and real-time reporting

    Card controls and real-time visibility mean businesses can support their employees to spend as they need for work using company cards without risk. From approval workflows to daily spend limits and more — the solution makes it easy for companies to stay agile, control cash flow, and pull the levers they need when needed. "My first reaction to Payhawk was that I liked splitting the cards into virtual and physical cards and assigning different responsibilities and approval levels to various people. Before Payhawk, we had just one level, which wasn't enough for me to keep control," explained Leon Steenbrink, CFO at Mercell.

    Implementation prioritization

    We also have a Partner Programme to support larger businesses. We understand that as a spend management solution, we're just one small part of the puzzle when it comes to the finance tech stack at large and growing businesses. For larger Enterprise companies with global stock to manage, international payroll, and more, ERPs like NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central are vital.

    At Payhawk, we're one of the first spend management solution providers to offer a Partner Programme to our Enterprise customers. And here's why: Our customers (and their great experience) are central to everything we do. We recognize that our focus is on revolutionizing the spend management experience for finance teams, so when it comes to providing the smoothest implementation and integration with existing complex systems, we'd prefer to call in our expert partners.

    Suppose an enterprise client wants to have customization services. In that case, we help them integrate Payhawk with ERPs, HCM systems, accounting systems, and other business tools, matching them with the perfect solution Partner.

    "At Next Consult, we're always looking for new ways to add value to our clients. As a Payhawk's Solution Partner Program member, we can now deliver and integrate a market-leader expense management tool to our clients. These integrations enable our clients to automate tasks and advance their digital transformation," said Orlin Dochev, Managing Partner at Next Consult (one of Payhawk Solution Partners).

    VAT, ROI, and happy senior leadership

    Aside from saving time, our spend management solution also saves businesses money by providing an innovative and efficient way to record and reconcile receipts. The app features OCR data capture, meaning cardholders can snap and upload a picture of their receipt to capture all the spend information. They must also select from a spend category (from a dropdown created by the finance team and management) to allocate the spend into the right pot. This means that the finance team has real-time visibility over budgets, teams can see ROI, and together they can make strategic decisions, pinpoint cost-saving opportunities, and more.

    Since moving to our solution, UK-based art fabrication company MDM Props has saved approximately £240k per quarter thanks to correct receipt reconciliation. While the German automotive company, ATU, saved €2 million in just one year.

    And finally

    Payhawk has saved many of our customers hours and even days of manual finance admin, improved spend visibility and decision-making, and helped build a culture of collaboration with finance and non-finance teams. Don't get left behind; stay ahead of the competition with more time, savings, and better visibility; book a demo.

    Trish Toovey - Content Director at Payhawk - The financial system of tomorrow
    Trish Toovey
    Senior Content Manager

    Trish Toovey works across the UK and US markets to craft content at Payhawk. Covering anything from ad copy to video scripting, Trish leans on a super varied background in copy and content creation for the finance, fashion, and travel industries.

    See all articles by Trish →

    Related Articles

    Jul 23, 2024


    Jul 23, 2024


    Jul 23, 2024