Embracing Digital Finances for the Future of Remote Work
How integrated, digital finance solutions are making it easy for companies to manage their expenses, invoices, and accounting from a distance
A common refrain is that COVID-19 expedited the trend toward remote work, which was already gaining popularity due to globalized business models and increased access to virtual communications. One study estimates that 5% of U.S. employees worked from home in the months leading up to the pandemic, with that number jumping to 60% in the spring of 2020.
According to prominent sources, remote work is here to stay. Not only have workers adjusted favorably to telecommuting, but many business leaders are finding that working from home actually boosts their employees’ productivity. With that in mind, companies have had to quickly take their finances fully online, from expense management to accounts payable to reporting and reconciliation.
Below, we explore how top business finance platforms have stepped up, offering digital solutions that streamline everyday tasks and make collaborating on finances simple and straightforward—even from a distance.
When your team is scattered across different zip codes and time zones, it can be difficult to coordinate day-to-day operations and keep track of critical documents. That’s where a digital-first finance solution comes in handy, with measures designed to facilitate virtual handoffs, automate manual workflows, and organize everything on one intuitive, easily accessible platform.
The best providers offer an array of tools and functionalities to support a range of financial needs and take the friction out of all remote transactions. Here’s a glimpse into some of the most helpful digital finance solutions on the market today and how they make remote business a breeze.
Virtual corporate cards allow team members to make purchases from anywhere. Most can be created, issued, and used in a matter of minutes, with digital receipts easily uploaded via SMS or email and transactions automatically categorized on a central dashboard.
In some cases, individual cards can even be assigned to recurring expense channels and vendor accounts and tracked against departmental budgets, with business leaders retaining full control over company expenses through auto-enforced spending limits and customized permissions.
Traditionally, paper invoices would pile up in the finance office until someone typed their details into a spreadsheet. Of course, with fully remote work, there is no finance office, meaning it’s even easier for hard copies to arrive at the wrong place—or not arrive at all.
Now, modern finance platforms offer a dedicated AP inbox where digital invoices can be sent and their data can be uploaded, auto-populated, and mapped to existing accounting codes. Better still, it’s all stored in the system, so authorized team members can access the information they need without having to ask a colleague to email or scan it over.
Securing approvals for every expense or invoice was complicated enough when the right supervisor was just down the hall. Now, it can involve sending sensitive financial materials back and forth and taking steps to ensure only appropriate roles have access.
The best digital finance platforms automate the process and intelligently route approvals based on the dollar amount of each expense, so large purchases may require several high-up signatures, while small charges may just need one quick sign-off. These approval flows are fully transparent, leading not only to greater accountability but to a much clearer audit trail.
With a fully-remote business model, your team members, customers, and vendors could be anywhere—but they still expect quick, reliable payments. If you’re expected to pay for every ACH transfer and wire, even small charges can add up fast.
Aligning statements with transactions is an essential part of managing expenses, but these figures are often handled on separate platforms, requiring finance teams to perform a juggling act just to close their books.
Today, digital finance platforms have the capacity to sync directly with a company’s accounting software, so finance teams can keep their books up to date and reconcile any and all expenses with speed.
Of course, all of these features introduce small changes and efficiencies on their own. When fused together, however, they can have a major impact on a company’s growth.
The smartest digital platforms report and analyze all of an organization’s financial data in one place, in real-time, providing business leaders with high-level visibility across expense channels, detailed metrics on performance against budgets, and insights to evaluate future cash flow needs.
Going fully digital doesn’t mean sacrificing attentive, personalized service.
With advanced technology at the ready, modern financial solutions offer both on-screen support through live chat capabilities and a more human touch via phone or video calls. The best platforms will get to know a company inside and out and assign a dedicated representative to each account for one-on-one support—without ever having to set foot in a bank branch.
Our tech-forward spend and cash management platform was built for modern business, with integrated corporate cards, commercial-grade banking, and AP.
Get in touch with our specialists, and discover how our digital finance solutions work together to help remote teams thrive.
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