7 signs you're leaking revenue because of poor expense management and how to stop it

Henry Guyver4 minutes
7 signs you're leaking revenue because of poor expense management and how to stop it
In this article

Think back over the last month: how much has your business paid for cloud storage, CRMs, website hosting, design tools and Google ads?

 Do you know exactly what your tech stack is and how much it costs? 

 If you don’t, you’re not alone. 

 But you are in danger of leaking huge amounts of revenue without realising it.

 How? A double whammy of software fees that slip under the radar and add up over time, and associated foreign transaction fees.

Software subscriptions may sound insignificant to your company’s overall financial health, but when you’re in a growth phase, your margins are tight. We’ve seen all too often how poor expense management can slowly pile up and quickly eat into the bottom line. 

Am I in danger of leaking revenue?

Companies leak revenue when money they’ve earned is leaving the business too easily.

There are multiple reasons why this can happen, but for global SaaS and eComm businesses, it’s usually due to subscription creep and unnecessary foreign transaction fees on card payments. 

Accumulated subscription fees can add up slowly in the background over months and years. Then, suddenly you’re paying for services you don’t use, seats for team members who left the business months ago and free trials that turned into paid accounts.

There are certain types of businesses that are more at danger of subscription creep than others. If any of the below describes your company, you should be extra vigilant of revenue leakage.

  1. You have 10 team members or more

  2. Staff often travel internationally

  3. You have a high turnover of staff

  4. You’re a digital company with lots of developers 

  5. Your tech stack is varied; you use a lot of disparate SaaS products

  6. You’re a global company with a high proportion of travelling salespeople

  7. You’re a finance team tired of wasting time chasing receipts and wrongly filed expenses

How to clean up your expense management

As the SaaS economy grows, expense management has become more complex.

Between your sales, marketing, development and shipping teams, everyone is using different platforms to do their job. As new team members join, the tech stack inevitably changes.

If you’re manually managing expenses, you’ll know what we’re talking about: chasing up receipts, correcting spend categories, tracking down wrongly recorded expenses… it’s enough to give you a headache. And one that doesn’t go away.

Revenue leakage isn’t just about the pounds, euros and dollars lost on unused SaaS subscriptions, it’s also in the hours lost every week manually managing expenses.

Without real-time visibility over subscription fees, controlled spending limits and automatic account reconciliation, business expense management can feel like (inefficient) guesswork.

If you’re at risk of letting funds slip away unnoticed, it’s time to consider end-to-end automated expense management software to help manage your outgoings.

Watch: Airwallex expense management overview

Move away from painful manual processes

With an end-to-end expense management system, you can better track your costs, reconcile all your expenses on one dashboard and gain real-time visibility and control over employee spending.

Beyond plugging revenue leakage, most SaaS and eComm businesses find switching to automated invoice processing systems reduce human error and save time.

Fast-growing digital agency Dovetail save a whopping 3 hours every week by partnering with Airwallex because their finance team doesn't have to manually chase up receipts anymore. 

Using an Airwallex Business Account, every employee has an individual virtual card with in-built expense management.

Instead of using one corporate card and trying to match expenses to individual employees, their finance team can easily track team spending and set custom spending limits and approval flows on each card.

Cards can also help with subscription creep.

Let’s say you have a subscription to Asana that only your marketing lead uses. If you assign them a virtual card, you can limit the monthly spend of that card to ensure the budget is stuck to. Then, if they leave the business, you can quickly cancel their card and avoid paying for Asana when it’s not being used or letting the cost spiral out of control.

One card dedicated to each subscription

As well as issuing individual virtual Airwallex Borderless Cards to employees, Dovetail also got on top of revenue leakage by having one dedicated card for each of their global SaaS tools.

They quickly understood where funds were being unnecessarily spent and could cancel unwanted subscriptions in minutes.

In fact, the agency saved up to 15% on their monthly SaaS spend by streamlining their finance processes with an end-to-end expense management system.

Stop losing money on foreign transactions

If you have team members around the world, employees who travel a lot and/or global SaaS subscriptions like Figma, Github or Slack, you’re also probably losing revenue through foreign transaction fees.

A lot of SaaS charges in USD. If you’re using a UK high street bank card to pay, you’re most likely being charged hefty international transaction fees (up to 4%) for every purchase.

We don’t need to tell you these hidden charges add up fast. And they’re totally avoidable.

By opting for a global payments platform like Airwallex, you’ll enjoy multi-currency cards with 0% foreign card transaction fees on 110+ local payment networks around the world.

Your employees can make purchases in multiple currencies from held balances in your account. And if you don’t have the necessary currency balance, we’ll auto-convert available funds in your home currency at market-leading FX rates.

A single source of truth

Leaking revenue is no joke – being out of pocket because of time wasted chasing up receipts, paying for SaaS tools you don’t need and hidden foreign transaction fees can become costly.

But using an expense management software can give you more than easy tracking and control of outgoings; a platform like Airwallex also gives you a single source of truth for the financial health of your business.

By having one centralised platform with multi-currency accounts, borderless cards, automatic reconciliation and accounting system integration, you’ll have real-time visibility over cash flow, transactions and expenses.

An accurate picture of your finances that you can use confidently to make major decisions.

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Henry Guyver
Expense management specialist

Henry is the expense management specialist for Airwallex EMEA. He helps businesses optimise their spend across currencies - whether they're a newly founded startup or full-fledged MNC.

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