A dive into the cold and dark waters of corporate spend

3 min read
Oct 19, 2023 3:28:28 PM

This is an image of my Ironman start in Switzerland. Imagine 1,500 people immersing themselves in a big lake and trying to navigate their way through as quickly as possible. Isn’t that a realistic picture of what the corporate spending process in your company looks like?

I’m not talking about direct procurement or indirect procurement for which companies have buyers and category managers that guide corporate spend within policy professionally. I’m talking about all the other ad-hoc “stuff” that all other employees are buying on behalf of the company. It’s substantial. It’s discretionary. It’s unavoidable. And every employee will find their way…more or less in the same direction, but is it effective and efficient? For the individual and for the corporation?

  1. The start: As an employee, I feel I need to buy something for my work within the company. 
  2. The end: As a supplier, I want to get paid.

What if I could do that without a purchase requisition in an enterprise system or engaging my private funds and claiming them via expenses? If I would not need to raise a Purchase Order; Create a new supplier in my accounting system or worse, receive an invoice without a PO and figure out what this is for; create a payment for a supplier to transfer money; answer questions on their open invoice in the meantime while having department managers and budget holders complain that they can’t control and be accountable for their budgets? And by the way: The procurement team is already overloaded and can’t allocate resources to handle this type of corporate spend and finance has to deal with a luring crisis and cut rogue spending and cost by 10%.

We figured out a way to go straight from step 1 to step 2 without all this corporate “stuff in the middle and people naturally felt that this would create huge savings. On the one hand by avoiding unnecessary spend and saving money directly. On the other hand by de-clogging the administrative overhead from the previous paragraph. 

How? Have all affected employees use the most intuitive app possible on their phones. Have them pay or trigger payment through their phone. That’s the Q-Card App. Happy employee. Happy supplier. Job done.

But how do we satisfy the corporate layer with all their systems, budgets, coding, the managers, the accountants, and the treasury? We have some configurations to put in place here to mirror your approval process. But then not after the fact, but upon creation of the payment card request. And yes, we need to fund some money unfortunately, but no more than the running balance of approved payments and booked automatically with the correct accounting coding self-serviced by the requestor but checked by our AI rule set before booking. No more vendor creations. Q-Card is your proxy and cashier agent (powered by Adyen). Use it almost globally. Take advantage of security and fraud prevention through the embedded reclaim process and supplier and category blacklists. Let the budget holder swipe for approval before the payment means is generated unless you have agreed that for category A until amount B the employee has the control directly. By delegation. We have you covered for the enterprise environment. 

Of course, there is a change management aspect in this. It challenges a whole patchwork of rules and systems that companies have created to cover all sub-types of this corporate spend process and it could never be this simple is it? There must be a snag, otherwise, we wouldn’t have created all these procedures and controls. We love to see the “eureka” moment in our customer accounts when they “get it”. 

It’s like that moment when you cross the finish line and hear those words “Rob van Ipenburg, you’re an Ironman” You didn’t know you had it in you but you got there anyway. And not just you, everyone in the company that takes part in this and you would be surprised how many finishers there are. This creates excitement and finally, there is a process that everyone loves: You will get a medal for it.