How to manage remote team finances & business spends effectively

Apr 05, 2024

While there are many benefits to a remote working environment, there are also challenges that you may come across when you manage remote team finances.

From miscommunications, and chasing down approvers, to a lack of spend visibility, things can go wrong if you’re ill-prepared. To help you prepare, here are some strategies that you can adopt so that you’re ready to manage remote team finances. 

Strategies to manage finances & spends of your remote teams effectively!

1. Improve work dynamics

When you work with a remote team, it’s easy for you and your team to feel distant from each other. Working together can feel much harder for some people when they’re not all physically in the same space.

When this feeling grows, not only can it breed miscommunication and isolation between team members, but it can also impact the way your staff works. The last thing that you want is for motivation and productivity levels to go down.

However, this problem isn’t without a fix. While it’s important to encourage collaboration and get your employees involved in discussions, you also need to consider the tools to help you do this. Equip your employees with the right tools and you’ll start seeing better results. 

To manage remote team finances, give your employees access to tools that enable video conferences, chat messages, and collaborative work. It’s also a good idea to have some tools to help your approval workflows and task management.

One good solution is to employ expense management software. You can bring your employees together, maintaining transparency and good communication by having them access an expense management platform like Volopay. Tasks like approvals and reviews can be done much faster.

2. Re-align finance processes to remote work culture

It’s inevitable that your finance processes will look different when you adopt a remote work culture. Given the needs and circumstances, it’s almost impossible to stubbornly stick with processes that often require your team to be in the same physical space.

Your budgeting will also look different when you operate in a remote work environment. One good idea to manage remote team finances better is to start over with your budgets to better fit the needs of your remote team.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll feel like you have a clean slate to determine what your finance processes should look like now with a remote work culture. You want to lay down the basic rules and policies to ensure that all your employees are on the same page.

This is applicable to not only communication rules and work expectations but also specifically to policies around business spending. Reevaluate rules about how spending should happen and let your employees know of all the policies.

You may end up wanting to implement a new and improved expense reporting policy or a streamlined approval workflow. Maybe you’re planning to issue all your employees virtual cards to take care of business spending.

Regardless of what re-alignment you’re doing, keep in mind that you and your team will be working remotely. Utilize tools like expense management software to help enforce these policies.

3. Adapt centralized digital workflow for core processes

When your employees can work from anywhere, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to gather entire teams to sort through physical paperwork.

While your business might still have a physical office, it’s inconvenient and defeats the purpose of a remote work culture to enforce employees to have to go into the office just to look at paper documents.

Not only that, but with employees scattered in many different locations, it gets difficult to ensure that all physical documents are stored properly, to begin with. This is where digitization comes in.

Expense management solutions like Volopay, for example, allow you to digitally track and manage all your expenses. From expense reporting to approvals, your staff can do it without having to physically meet up with each other to hand over documents.

For example, you want to adopt an approval workflow that works well with remote work conditions. Since your team can no longer submit paper documents and chase down approvers at their desks to get signatures, you’ll have to implement new approval policies.

Get yourself an expense management platform that can help you manage remote team finances by digitizing and automating your approval workflows. This way, all your employees can be up to speed with requests and approvals. 

4. Make online purchases employee friendly

In cases like the COVID-19 pandemic, for a lot of people remote working wasn’t a choice, but rather a necessity. Not only could people not work from the office, but most people also find themselves unable to physically go to places. It’s no surprise that online purchases became the norm for businesses.

Even without the constraints of lockdown, when you move toward a remote working environment, you may discover that online purchases can simply be easier than having to physically arrange a face-to-face meeting with a vendor just to purchase something.

To keep up with this trend of online purchases, you want to ensure that your employees are well-prepared for it. It would be impossible to manage remote team finances by appointing a single physical card for your entire team to make payments with.

For one, nobody would be able to pass around the card unless they meet a coworker in person. It’s a smart choice to transition to virtual cards instead, which you can assign to all your employees.

This way, when specific departments need to purchase something for a project, they can simply use their virtual card to make the business expense. Volopay enables your employees to request virtual cards on the platform from anywhere.

As soon as they make a virtual card request, the relevant approvers will be automatically notified. Virtual card approvals on Volopay only take a few minutes, meaning that your employees can generate and start using their virtual cards almost immediately. 

5. Scale-up for tracking & reporting expenses

It’s understandable that there will be a fear that you won’t have the same level of control and visibility of your business expenses when your team works remotely.

It can be harder to manage remote team finances when you’re unsure if everything is getting reported correctly or not. It’s even worse when you don’t have immediate access to all the paper documents that you may need.

The good news is that while your visibility on business expenses may be obstructed when you adopt a remote work culture, this is only because you’re not utilizing the right tools and implementing the right policies. You can change that and gain real-time visibility of all your business expenses.

One of the key benefits of using a platform like Volopay is that you’ll never be left in the dark when it comes to expenses. Consolidating all your payment methods on one platform, which Volopay allows, means that it’s easier for you to manage remote team finances.

Whenever an expense is made, your employees can report it immediately. Better yet, you can instantly see the expense reports and reimbursement claims. This way, you don’t have to worry about missing reports and claims. Everything will be there for you to access easily.

6. Position your books right with smart integrations

While it’s a good idea to use a solution like expense management software, that’s only one part of the puzzle. You may no longer need to worry about manual data entry and paper invoices when processing your payments, but that may not be the case with your remote accounting team. 

Without integrations, you run into the risk of your accounting team having to rely on Excel spreadsheets and manual data entry. Being unable to work together face-to-face can lead to things like duplicate entries, missing information, and errors not getting double-checked.

To manage remote team finances well, you’ll want accurate accounting to back you up. A solution that you can employ to ensure that your accounting team is in a strong position is accounting integration.

When you fit your expense management software with other tools like accounting integration, you’ll end up with a smoother and more streamlined workflow. Your expense management software becomes more than just an isolated solution. Rather, it allows you to also improve your accounting processes. 

Volopay offers accounting integrations through direct sync and Universal CSV. In just a few clicks, you’ll be able to gather all the data on your platform and send it to your accounting software.

This way, you’ll be able to ensure that all your journal entries are accurate. The time it takes to close your books can be reduced to half easily.

Remote team finances can be efficiently managed with right expense management solution

It’s inevitable that you’ll come across many challenges when you try to manage remote team finances. However, with a few policy changes, new tools, and improved processes, you can easily tackle these challenges. 

Make sure that you keep up with the times by implementing solutions such as expense management software to manage remote team finances better.

With the help of expense management software like Volopay, you can gear your team up with virtual cards, allow them to digitize expense reports, and automate your approval workflows. Your finance processes will fall seamlessly into place even when your team works remotely.