Top 5 Spend Management Features You Need to Go Global

Top 5 Spend Management Features You Need to Go Global

Global companies have unique spend management needs, and if you aren’t using a solution with the right features, you’ll end up wasting time and money — not to mention not getting the job done. 

As a growing global company, it can be daunting to know where to start when it comes to meeting all of your unique expense management needs and what to look for in a spend management solution. But don’t worry! This list maps out five features you should prioritize during your search.

Read on to learn about the most important spend management features for global companies.

1. Cross-entity visibility & analytics

Global subsidiaries may operate under their own management (with their own policies, regulations and currencies), but it’s crucial for parent companies to have full visibility and insights into the organization’s spending as a whole. With an easy-to-understand dashboard view of all entities, better business decisions can be made.

Entities in different locations will have different expenses based on all kinds of factors — from culture to climate to travel options — and these differences can mean that budgets need to be allocated based on entities’ specific needs. A full dashboard view of an entire global organization’s spending allows these decisions to be made in a way that works best for each entity and the company as a whole.

2. Multi-currency support

Companies with multiple entities in multiple countries need multi-currency support. This means being able to issue cards, make payments, settle transactions and reconcile the books in local currencies — regardless of where the parent company is located.

Without these abilities, your entity will be exposed to fluctuating foreign exchange rates and FX fees — not to mention, if your cards can’t be funded and settled in local currency, they won’t work in certain places (e.g. Brazil).   

3. Multi-ERP support

Entities of the same global company often use different ERPs, but many spend management solutions don’t allow integrations with more than one ERP. If your expense management system only integrates with one ERP, then you either need to implement the same ERP for every entity (which can be time-consuming, expensive, and inconvenient) or waste hours every month on manual manipulation in Excel.

4. Policy management & built-in compliance

As with currencies and ERPs, global multi-entity businesses typically implement different policies in different regions. This can be to accommodate local laws, tax regulations or travel restrictions — but whatever the reason, global companies need an expense management solution that allows them to customize policies for each entity.

One thing all expense policies should have in common is built-in compliance. When the policy is built right into payments and expense management, employees literally can’t spend out of policy — keeping everyone in check and on-budget.

5. Customizable approvals

In today’s distributed workforce, customizable approvals are a huge advantage. By choosing a solution that allows approvals across multiple entities, you’ll save everyone time and increase business opportunities.

Example: A US marketing team needs budget approval from the CMO who works in the UK and the company doesn’t allow cross-entity approvals. The US team has to jump through hoops and work with a general admin to get budget approvals — but if it takes too long, they’ll miss a high-value, time-sensitive opportunity. 

Instead, opt for customizable approvals that allow for approvals to be made across entities.

Next Steps

These five features are a great starting point to modernize spend management as a global organization, but you’ll need to dig even deeper to make sure you find the right solution for your company. 

Once you’ve narrowed down prospective solutions based on these features, check out our Questions to ask when evaluating global expense management solutions guide to help you make your final decision.

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