Flex’s Advanced Spend Controls & Automated Accounting Help Save Time and Costsby Fintech News Singapore October 15, 2021
Managing a business involves a whole host of administrative duties. For a small and medium enterprise (SME) owner with a small team, this means wearing multiple hats: marketing the business, managing manpower, paying for rent.
Expenses are varied and there are new bills to pay every month. Since not every SME can afford to have a finance team on board full-time, the owner will typically handle finance tasks as they can be sensitive.
Thus, being able to empower employees to function more efficiently in a risk-free way will lighten the load and help the business operate much more smoothly.
Let’s understand how these features can help SMEs.
Flex Business Debit Card
At the heart of Flex’s mission is Flex Business Debit cards — physical and virtual.
Equipped with Advanced Spend Controls, the cards are linked to an SME’s central Flex account, but with safeguards such as spend controls and permissible categories.
Picture this scenario. A small business owner offers sales staff the ability to claim transportation expenses. The practice has been to get each staff member to fill up a form with receipts attached at the end of every month.
Each staff member is required to collect these receipts. At the end of every month, schedule time to consolidate these claims.
Upon receiving the receipts, the owner, or a finance staff has to go through the claims to check and approve them before manually paying the cash.
This process of reimbursement can take days or weeks. As every small business owner would know, managing business receipts is a time-consuming task.
With Advanced Spend Controls, owners can issue Flex Business Debit cards that are set to only allow transactions in the transport merchant category for sales employees.
It could be a physical card, or a virtual card on the Flex app. A monthly limit can be set, and if additional control is required, it can be layered with a transaction limit.
There is also a receipt capture function that allows employees to upload photos of receipts onto the web app, matching each receipt to individual transactions.
Instantly, this eliminates human error when filing for claims, reducing the need to check and approve manually.
It also helps in card reconciliation later, which is especially important during tax season and audit.
Understandably, owners have been hesitant to issue authorised cards to each employee for fear of fraud.
If employees mix personal and professional payments, that could come at a big cost to the company’s cash flow.
Having proper spend controls in place reduces the risk of fraudulent payments and unauthorised transactions efficiently.
In essence, a Flex Business Debit card decentralises everyday business expense accounting safely.
As the owner can control and track business expenses and view them in real-time on a dashboard, it allows end-to-end management in a much more granular way, freeing up the time and mental load spent dealing with business expenses tracking so SME owners can focus on their larger goal to scale their businesses and serve their customers.
Plus, everything is real-time. Both accounting and inventory teams can work with real-time data at the same time, with the owner in full view of what is paid and received.
This minimises confusion and human error, leading to accurate financial reports and easier reconciliation of data.
For business owners who use Xero to manage their accounts, Flex is integrated with the Xero accounting software so Xero and Flex users can use it for a more seamless accounting experience.
No need to match receipts with expenses one by one again. Let automated accounting powered by Flex’s app help keep books tidy.
The added bonus of this accounting integration is that SME owners can conveniently and securely store, organise and retrieve business receipts all on one platform for future records, viewable on both web and mobile.
Get more working capital through Flex
In between securing payments for invoices, small business owners have to pay suppliers, vendors, rent, and employees on varying timelines.
These different moving parts can make it hard for cash-strapped SMEs to stay afloat, especially those with significant annual spends across supplier invoices, payroll, rent, and other expenses amounting from $150k to $2 million.
This is even when their business and products are constantly improving and in demand.
Flex’s platform targets this pain point by offering credit lines for business owners who are in need of urgent working capital, allowing them to tide over high-expense periods.
In partnership with Finaxar Capital ll, Flex cardholders can access working capital up to $100,000 in interest-free credit for up to 35 days, which can be approved within 48 hours.
There are no hidden fees and billing periods are adjustable.
SME readers may be wondering: What about things like rent and tax? Thankfully, through Flex’s partnership with ipaymy, businesses can pay rent, salaries, invoices and corporate tax through credit lines.
According to a survey among 2,188 SME employees and employers, the most common payment types are payroll (100%), rental (94%), suppliers (93%) and software subscriptions (57%).
Flex and ipaymy thus allow companies to tap into credit lines for almost all types of business payments.
Flex has already onboarded hundreds of SMEs who enjoy using the all-in-one business payment solution. It is cost-saving, efficient and convenient for business owners and employees.
Flex is offering up to 2% cashback on all your business expenses. Stack up on rewards when you put your expenses on a Flex Business Debit Card.
Find out how you can save over S$4,000 a year by clicking here.