Rodolphe Ardant, Founder & CEO
It's always the same story for startups. Initially, they don't see it coming, but as the business scales, their finance and expense management processes suddenly hit the roof. Employees that pay for operational expenses out of their pockets, to be reimbursed later, invariably get caught up in filing endless expense claims and reimbursement requests. For firms that have a ‘shared credit card policy,’ the chances of fraud are not only higher, but for employees, getting their hands on these circulating cards is a painful ordeal. What transpires in the back-office is yet another chaotic story altogether. Invariably there will be a missing invoice, compelling finance teams to go on a wild goose chase to figure out who spends what and where. Moreover, at the end of every month, the accounting team is also piled with bills that have reams of entries, which they duly have to cross check with bank statements to ensure all claims are valid. What's the end result? Employees across teams are forever grousing, there's a mound of paperwork that needs to be addressed, and most importantly, valuable time is being lost in handling tedious financial tasks.
Spendesk believes there are smarter ways to manage business spend. While modern teams are accustomed to nimble processes, fast iterations, and high autonomy when it comes to most other processes, company spending continues to be manual and error-prone; a state of affairs that Spendesk aims to overturn. As such, the company is fundamentally redefining the way finance teams track and employees spend through their all-in-one spending platform. The solution comprises physical and virtual cards, smart approval workflows, automated expense reports, and accounting software integrations that help optimize the entire business spending process. Founded in Paris’ Silicon center in 2016 by Rodolphe Ardant, Jordane Guily, and Guilhem Bellion, Spendesk currently enables over 1000 leading businesses across Europe to make their spending simpler, smarter, and more secure. Top startups like Drivy, Konbini, Dataiku or Deezer rely on Spendesk every day to run their businesses.
Say Goodbye to Chasing Receipts
So how does Spendesk empower companies to do more with less? The end-to-end platform is easy to set up, and all a client needs to do is create an account and add funds. After this, the finance team sets up approval workflows and spending policies that can easily be customized and controlled by managers. At all times, the upper management has a transparent, real-time view into overall spend.
Spendesk currently enables over 1000 leading businesses across Europe to make their spending simpler, smarter, and more secure
The platform’s simple and comprehensive framework eliminates the need for a bunch of different systems, and its clear rules are what set Spendesk apart from other technology tools in the marketplace. Spendesk is also completely scalable, which means organizations can continue adding people, new expenses, and expense volume. Tracking and reporting expenses is now a breeze with Spendesk as all an employee needs to do is upload a picture of a receipt and the system will auto-match it with the right category and budget. Any Spendesk user can request a virtual card that is safe for online purchase in just a few clicks, and a card can be paused or deleted at any time. In addition, features such as XML export and integrated reporting allows finance teams to save valuable hours when it comes to paying accounts receivable. While this is just the tip of the iceberg, the platform consists of an exhaustive list of features that are customizable according to a client's needs. From real-time dashboards, automated VAT, subscription management, custom spending policies, to certified e-receipts and wallets, Spendesk covers it all.
One classic issue faced by many modern companies is handling the countless online subscription payments each month. These are made by different teams with different budgets, and keeping track of all these payments is a significant struggle. With Spendesk, clients can get a quick overview of subscriptions and even limit the budgets bringing more insight and control. On deploying this cutting-edge technology, a client commented, "With Spendesk, we finally found what we had needed for a long time." Truly, Spendesk is the easiest way for organizations today to bring an end to unclear spending policies, archaic approval processes, and manual expense reports once and for all.
Smart Spending for Connected Teams
Given the efficacy of the platform, at present over €130 million has been spent through Spendesk and more than 350,000 receipts and invoices have been captured. Keeping in mind clients of different sizes, the company even extends a flexible pricing scheme. To substantiate their unique value proposition with an example, Spendesk emerged as a savior for The Food Assembly, an online platform that promotes direct exchanges between shoppers and agricultural producers via pop-up markets. Before using Spendesk, employees at The Food Assembly shared eight company credit cards between themselves. While the client trusted its staff with the cards, at the end of the month, 50 percent of the receipts would go missing. When The Food Assembly decided to add more structure into its payment and expense validation process, they conducted a quick review of existing market solutions, and only Spendesk stood out from the crowd.
Today, the client makes nearly 400 payments via Spendesk each month, from transport to accommodation, offices supplies, IT equipment and subscriptions. Given this success at The Food Assembly's regional offices, the international branches also wanted their own Spendesk accounts, which have since been opened in Spain, the UK, and Germany.
Another compelling story is that of renowned cosmetics company Birchbox that was struggling with manual account reconciliation every month. It was a hassle for the accounting team to retrieve all of the expense receipts and match each one with the corresponding entry on bank statements. Often they also had to gather information that was not necessarily related to finance but could potentially have an impact on the financial side of things. Spendesk not only solved the challenges of the finance team but operational teams such as marketing, technology, and sales also had access to a practical means of payment whenever they needed to make purchases. With Spendesk, Birchbox could centralize their entire expense tracking while achieving a transparent approval flow system. If that wasn't all, the Spendesk support team was always a call away, and Spendesk promptly acted on any feedback given by the client.
Breaking the Bottlenecks in Spend Management
Customer-centric by nature, a dedicated team at Spendesk that is well versed in English, French, and Germany is always a chat, an email, or call away. The company acts as a natural extension of a client’s business and continually adds new features or improves the existing ones, making its solution best in class. To keep up with compliance mandates and fraud protection, Spendesk has also implemented the highest security standards. All data that goes into the Spendesk platform is encrypted with bank-level security and funds are managed in compliance with European regulations.
Another unique initiative by the company is CFO Connect, an offline and online space where financial leaders can meet and learn from each other. The community holds regular meet ups, produces helpful content, and builds a network of high-performing CFOs. This allows tech-savvy CFOs to share best practices, give recommendations, discuss difficulties in the workplace, and have a network to rely on. Each session held by CFO Connect is led by two finance experts who address a specific topic. Topics range from the tech tools of the modern CFO to the digital transformation of finance, or even how to open a new office.
"Another unique initiative by the company is CFO Connect, an offline and online space where financial leaders can meet and learn from each other"
Spendesk’s broader mission is simple: they want to make company payments as easy as personal transactions, and even in the days to come, this will be their guiding force.