How to manage business expenses across remote teams

Tilly Michell
3 minutes
Business tipsFinance
How to manage business expenses across remote teams
In this article

Remote working is on the rise

As a trend, remote working was gaining momentum before the pandemic. Now, the era of virtually-connected staff working across borders is well and truly here, opening up exciting opportunities for companies when it comes to hiring talent, avoiding expensive office costs, and fostering a happy, healthy workforce.

Kate Lister, the president of Global Workplace Analytics, saysthat she expects 70% the world’s workforce to be remote by 2025, which is great news for business owners and staff alike.

Remote working is the ultimate two-way benefit. According to a study by Citrix and Harvard Business Review, 88% of knowledge workers say that when searching for a new position, they prioritise jobs that offer complete flexibility in their hours and location.

What’s more, 83% predict that in response to the global talent shortage, companies will leverage flexible work models to reach out to suitable candidates around the world.

How to effectively track international employee expenses

1. Have a good expense-tracking system in place

There are many pitfalls to avoid when managing international teams. A survey of C-suite executives led by McKinsey found that many believe remote working negatively impacts company culture. When people aren’t sharing the same office space—building trust over cups of coffee or post-work get-togethers—it’s harder to build company loyalty. 

This can spill over into areas like expense management, especially when expenses are filtered through a single company card. Employees in different time zones may find it harder to gain approval for necessary costs, and finance teams may struggle to track outgoings across borders, especially when accounting for multiple currencies. 

2. Automate the employee expense process when you can

It’s important, when managing a fast-growing global team, to put systems in place that eliminate human error and inefficiency. Time-strapped CFOs can cause bottlenecks when signing off expenses, blocking workflows and causing frustration amongst employees. 

For this reason, a good employee expense solution should be quick, easy, and do as much of the work for you as possible.

3. Eliminate unnecessary payment fees

Traditional banks and credit card companies charge transaction fees for foreign currency expenses. These charges include a currency conversion fee which can be as much as 3.5% above the interbank rate, and a fixed purchase fee.  

Cash withdrawals and online transactions in foreign currencies can come with similar costs.

Airwallex: A better way to manage international employee expenses

With an Airwallex global account, companies can issue their international and domestic employees with borderless debit cards. These can be used anywhere that traditional debit cards are accepted, both in stores and online, and allow your team to pay in multiple currencies with zero transaction fees. 

Virtual employee cards can be created in minutes, and integrate seamlessly with Apple Pay and Google Pay. This means that every member of your team can have their own expense card and take it with them wherever they go. 

Expenses can be tracked from a single account, taking the stress out of managing employee costs across borders. It’s an effortless solution that is completely transparent. 

Why Airwallex is a smart solution for teams working remotely

  • No transaction fees, no matter where or how the cards are used. 

  • Employees can spend in multiple currencies across borders.

  • Managers can set spending limits at a card level, ensuring employees keep to budgets.

  • Expenses can be tracked in real-time from a central account. 

  • Managers can create, freeze or cancel employee cards in minutes, freeing up bottlenecks and protecting your business’ funds.

  • There’s no need for time-consuming expense claims, or for employees to wait to be reimbursed for money. So no one will be left out of pocket. 

  • Airwallex syncs hourly with Xero, making bookkeeping a breeze. 

There’s enough to worry about when growing a business that’s operating across borders without making employee expenses more complicated than they need to be. 

If you think Airwallex could be the right solution for you, apply for a free account online today, or click below to watch a 3 minute demo. 

Related article: The Benefits of Remote Work and Virtual Teams

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Tilly Michell
Content Marketing Manager

Tilly manages the content strategy for Airwallex. She specialises in content that supports businesses in their growth trajectory.

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