Corporate finance leaders often share with us their challenges forecasting and managing spend. Whether it’s employee reimbursement or vendor payments, common frustrations include late and surprise expenses that make it hard to forecast, identify fraud, and reduce waste. Adding to the frustration, the payment process itself isn’t efficient when navigating terms, approvals, a patchwork of methods such as cards, ACH, and time-consuming manual check runs.
That’s why I’m really excited about the launch of Emburse Pay. Emburse Pay will offer a suite of solutions designed to streamline all aspects of corporate payments, giving finance leaders unparalleled spend management capabilities.
The first phase of this new initiative is the roll-out of Emburse Cards integrated into Chrome River EXPENSE. What makes this particularly exciting is not just a tight integration between our award-winning expense management solution with Emburse’s policy-backed payment cards, but the ability for cards to be requested and issued directly within Chrome River EXPENSE.
Chrome River EXPENSE streamlines expense management, but until now, policy enforcement has taken place after the transaction is already complete, making it hard to unwind out-of-policy purchases. The new integration of policy-backed Emburse Cards with Chrome River EXPENSE enforces policy before spend occurs.
Here’s how it works:
- The employee enters a request to spend money on the company's behalf.
- An approver agrees.
- Chrome River EXPENSE issues a plastic or virtual Emburse Card and e-mails details to the employee. The card is authorized to spend up to the requested amount and may include additional restrictions pre-determined by company policy.
- When the card is used, spend details are verified against company policy, and the purchase is approved or declined if outside the policy.
- The user gets a real-time alert on their mobile phone, prompting them to capture and upload an image of the merchant’s receipt.
- When done, the receipt is automatically reconciled with the card data, and an expense line item is created.
- Later, the spend line item can be dragged and dropped into an expense report and submitted.
The real beauty of this is that spend can be approved in advance with company policy enforced at the point of purchase. There is no requirement for any type of review after the fact. There are no end of month surprises and you get to avoid the awkward “the company isn’t going to pay for that thing you bought” conversation. Finance leaders can be reassured that spend isn’t fraudulent or outside of approved parameters.
The end-user experience is much better as well. No need to spend time saving receipts, entering transaction data, or reconciling expenses against card statements. And for employees who are used to using personal cards and then waiting for reimbursement, another headache has gone away.
With finance leaders even more focused on cost control than before, effectively enforcing policies is critical. But that doesn’t mean putting a huge administrative burden on spenders, approvers, and finance teams. Combining Chrome River EXPENSE’s streamlined pre-approval capabilities with Emburse cards makes life easier, and gives CFOs one less thing to worry about.
We’re really excited about this first phase of Emburse Pay. We look forward to sharing more details in the coming months about new innovations which will further simplify, automate, and control corporate spend. We are excited for the opportunity to humanize work for the Finance leaders we are fortunate to serve.
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Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care.
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic.