The ultimate guide to managing your business’s software stack

6 minutes

Business tips

Modern businesses call on an arsenal of software to help run their day-to-day operations – to measure, promote, track, automate, host and collaborate, the list goes on.

Keeping track of all your software subscriptions can prove to be a mountainous task, particularly when coordinating across multiple teams, approval processes and payment cards. We’ve come together as a team at Airwallex and pooled our best tips for managing an ever-growing list of software subscriptions. 

Audit your software subscriptions 

According to a Blissfully research report , on average, companies with 1-100 employees have 102 active software subscriptions and USD$202,200 in annual subscription spend. To make matters more difficult, many companies struggle to enforce effective processes for managing these expenses, with 71% of businesses identifying that they have software subscriptions without a billing owner.

Establishing clear expense management processes is critical for businesses with distributed teams. As managers, we accept that for our team to perform their roles effectively, they need various platforms and tools. Still, we often fail to set clear guidelines and robust processes that scale alongside our organisation’s growth. 

In Airwallex’s Growth team, we’ve been adding new people and rolling out new marketing, product and sales initiatives. To accompany this, we needed to rethink our processes for managing our growing software stack. 

We created a simple subscription manager via a Google Sheet to help keep track of software subscriptions, costs, owners and virtual cards in use. It was easy to set up, the sheet was shared internally, team members added subscriptions under their management, and we cross-referenced this against what our finance team had recorded to identify any ‘orphaned’ subscriptions. In less than a week, we not only had visibility of all our software subscriptions and expenditure, but the team identified opportunities to consolidate or cancel subscriptions.

Click the purple button at the bottom of your screen for the exact Google Sheet we use and share it with your team to audit your software stack.

Adopt a password management tool

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to log in to a tool you haven’t used in a while and realising you’ve forgotten the password, or worse, a team member has left the business and stranded you without first sharing their login credentials.

The best way to prevent this is with a password management tool like LastPass or 1Password . Not only does it make it easier to manage access, but it’ll also train your team to avoid ‘not so safe’ passwords and instil sound security practices. 

LastPass auto-generates secure passwords each time you sign up for a new subscription and stores them securely in a ‘password vault’. You can also share password access with other teams or stakeholders outside your business, like contractors or agencies, but whilst establishing controls so they can’t see/record your passwords.

You can even create ‘team’ password accounts where you can collate and store common logins for tools shared amongst multiple users. This makes onboarding new staff easier, as it means they can start their new role with all the platform access they need. It also minimises the risk that any access will be lost when a member leaves the team.

Automate your account reconciliation process

Chasing receipts is painful and slows down your team. 

Create a dedicated email for receipts and invoices (something simple like [email protected] will do), use this email when registering new subscriptions and add it to billing settings for existing subscriptions.

If you use Xero for accounting, you can automatically reconcile your card payments by connecting Xero directly to your Airwallex account . Single and multi-currency transactions will automatically flow into your Xero account hourly for easy reconciliation.

Save 3% on all USD software subscriptions

Many software companies that have a strong Australian presence charge in USD, like AWS, Atlassian, Hubspot and Slack. The Big Four banks charge a 3% foreign transaction fee each on all USD subscriptions and this can easily add up to thousands of dollars in fees each year.

In good news, this can easily be avoided with Airwallex Borderless Cards . Simply issue virtual Visa debit cards to pay for your subscriptions in USD with zero transaction fees. You’ll also get access to our interbank FX rates and the ability to convert AUD to USD for just 0.3%. 

Does your business receive payments in USD? Make card payments directly from your USD funds via your Borderless Card to eliminate currency conversion fees.

Keeping track of your ever-growing list of software subscriptions doesn’t need to be labour-intensive. Eliminate the hassle by deploying our Subscription Manager Google Sheet, Virtual Cards and a password solution to put your subscriptions on autopilot, all without breaking the bank.

Click the purple button in the bottom-right of your screen to get the exact Software Subscription Management Google Sheet we use at Airwallex. We’ve also included some calculations so you can easily identify how much you would save by making the switch to Airwallex virtual cards for managing your software stack.

Use virtual cards to provide additional security for subscription payments 

One of the biggest pain points of managing large tech stacks is lost or compromised card details – this can be a significant time sink for your team.

With the growth of virtual cards, this can be easily avoided. At Airwallex, we use our Virtual Debit Card product to help manage our subscription software. The beauty of virtual cards is that you can create one for each subscription - this means that you don’t have to update all your subscriptions if a card is compromised - you just need to update the card associated with the relevant subscription.

Airwallex Virtual Cards can be easily blocked/unblocked using our online app – mitigate fraud without having to call your bank. You can also easily add daily and monthly spending limits to minimise risk.

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Maintaining control of your ever-growing software stack doesn’t need to be a daunting task. By using Airwallex virtual cards, you not only save money on everyday business transactions but also streamline your expense management process and empower your team. 

If you’d like to speak to an Airwallex specialist to find out more about virtual cards and how to manage your software subscriptions, click here to book a demo.

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Our products and services in Australia are provided by Airwallex Pty Ltd ABN 37 609 653 312 who holds AFSL 487221. Any information provided is for general information purposes only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of the information in light of your own objectives, financial situation or needs. Please read and consider the Product Disclosure Statement available on our website  before using our service. The actual fee charged by the Big Four Banks on international card transactions may vary depending on your card. Airwallex does not charge transaction fees on card payments however other fees and charges may apply, please see our terms and conditions for more information.

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