How to Make a Mess of Expense Management in Four Easy Steps

How to Make a Mess of Expense Management

Are you sick and tired of striving to streamline business processes and optimize corporate spend? Are you looking for ways to squander company funds and make your finance department’s life more difficult? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve got handy tips that will bog your finance team down with extra work, while letting cash unnecessarily trickle out of the company accounts. Before you know it, your company’s corporate finances will be a total disaster.

Here are some free tips to help you make a mess of expense management at your company.

1. Give Every Employee a Corporate Credit Card

Nothing creates chaos faster than giving every single employee a corporate credit card of their own. What could possibly go wrong with simple pieces of plastic? So much.

First, physical cards are easy for cardholders to lose or misplace, and easy for scammers to steal. But even if you notice the card missing, report it, and have usage suspended, there’s still plenty of opportunity to mess with your company’s expenses. 

For example, let’s say Joe from HR is responsible for paying the subscription for the software that manages employee payroll. His plastic card is lost and he cancels it, but doesn’t update the subscription payment method before the next pay day. So, absolutely nobody at the company receives their paycheck on the date they were expecting it. Hilarious, right?

Then there’s the unchecked spending. Sure, most people at the company probably have the decency to follow the expense policy, but there are always a few bad apples that just can’t resist swiping their corporate card where they shouldn’t — like a “business dinner” at a strip club.

Best of all, these inappropriate charges usually go unnoticed until at least the end of the month when statements are issued to the finance department to be reviewed. So that gives employees a solid few weeks of inappropriate spending and committing credit card fraud — every single month. 

2. Use Spreadsheets to Track Expenses

Now that you have all of those corporate credit cards floating around unchecked, try to organize every single expense from each card into a spreadsheet. This ensures that your accountants will have to go through transactions line by line, searching for any unusual or suspicious activity.

You may be wondering how a system like this indicates what purchases were given approval by management or what a particular department’s budget is when every employee has spending power.

Who cares?! 

Just let employees spend first and figure out how over-budget they went at the end of the year when it’s time to start prepping for tax season. Here’s hoping those treats for the office dog are tax deductible!

3. Match Receipts Manually

Why use automation when you could spend hours every month chasing down employees for expense reports and sorting through receipts for every paper clip ever purchased, trying to match the right transaction to the right credit card?

And then, once you’ve finally been able to reach month-end reconciliation, you can start the arduous process of individually reimbursing every employee that ordered dinner to the office or had to grab a taxi on the way to a meeting. 

If you’re lucky, you’ll finish that up just in time to start closing the next month.

4. Don’t Integrate with Accounting Software

Sure, having expense management software that integrates with ERPs and accounting software could save you hours of time, improve accuracy, and save the company money in the long run. 

But do you really want your finance team to have time to look at the bigger picture? They seem busy enough already, what with all the manual data entry and screaming at Excel on their computer screens all day. 

Besides, if they had the time to be part of strategic planning and conduct audits, they might actually find ways to save the company money.

Final Thoughts

By following these tips, you’ll make a horrible mess of your company’s expense management — fast. 

Of course, if you ever decide you’d like to try to bring a bit of order to your business, Mesh Payments can help you optimize your spend. With unlimited virtual cards, customizable spend controls, and automated workflows, Mesh makes managing payments simple and secure.

To learn more about how Mesh can help your team optimize expense management, schedule a demo today.


What are the problems with giving every employee a corporate credit card?

Giving every employee a corporate credit card increases the risk of lost or stolen cards, potential fraud, and non-compliant purchases, making expense tracking and management challenging.

Why is relying on spreadsheets for expense tracking a bad idea?

Relying on spreadsheets for expense tracking is inefficient, prone to errors, and lacks real-time visibility into expenses, making it difficult to manage budgets and identify irregular activity.

Why is manually matching receipts and reimbursing employees cumbersome?

Manually matching receipts and individually reimbursing employees is time-consuming, increases administrative workload, and delays reimbursement. Automating the process with software saves time and improves efficiency.

Why is integrating expense management software with accounting software important?

Integrating expense management software with accounting software improves data accuracy, provides real-time expense visibility, enables better budget tracking, and frees up time for strategic planning and analysis.

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