How to manage employee expenses across remote teams

Tilly Michell
3 minutes
Business tipsTechnology
How to manage employee expenses across remote teams
In this article

Remote working is on the rise 

Businesses run by virtually-connected employees scattered around the world were on the rise before the pandemic.

Now, the remote-working era is truly here, opening up exciting opportunities for businesses when it comes to hiring the best talent, avoiding the costs of being headquartered in expensive cities, and fostering a happy, healthy workforce.

Kate Lister, the president of Global Workplace Analytics, has said that she expects 70% the world’s workforce to be remote by 2025, which is great news for both bosses and workers.

According to a study by Citrix and Harvard Business Review, 88% of knowledge workers say that when searching for a new position, they will look for one that offers complete flexibility in their hours and location.

Not only that, but 83% also predict that in response to the global skilled talent shortage, companies will leverage flexible work models to reach out to suitable candidates no matter where they live.

How to effectively track international employee expenses

1. Have a good expense-tracking system in place

There are pitfalls to avoid when it comes to managing international teams. Company culture is recognised as being a danger area, as reported by McKinsey among many other publications. When people aren’t sharing the same space, building trust over cups of break-time coffees or post-work get-togethers, it’s not as effortless to get everyone on the same page when it comes to company loyalty. 

This can spill over into areas like expense accounts. It may be a little easier for employees to overspend when they’re physically a little further away from any oversight. This problem can be exacerbated when payments are made by multiple workers from one company card, making it harder to track outgoings. 

2. Automate the employee expense process when you can

It’s also crucial, when managing a fast-growing global team, to put systems in place that cut down on wasted time and human error. Time-strapped CFOs can cause bottlenecks when signing off expenses, preventing employees from accessing the tools they need to do their job effectively, or leaving them out of pocket. Talented employees should be kept happy. They are the most important asset of any company in the global workforce, after all.

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

Another stumbling block to watch out for is unnecessary fees caused by employees using expense cards that don’t match the currency of their home base.

It’s standard for the debit cards of major banks to charge a few percentage points of the price of a purchase abroad as a foreign-currency transaction fee, and some even add a fixed “purchase fee” on top of that. 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, businesses can issue their team members 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 employee can have their own expense card and take it with them wherever they go. 

This takes the stress out of managing employee expenses in international teams who are working remotely. It’s an effortless solution that involves total transparency.

Why Airwallex is a smart solution for teams working remotely:

  • There are zero transaction fees for purchases, wherever they take place in the world.

  • Employees can spend in multiple currencies across borders.

  • Managers can set spending limits on each card, ensuring that budgets are never exceeded.

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

  • Cards can be totally managed online. This includes the ability to create, freeze or cancel employee cards in minutes to protect your business funds.

  • There’s no need for time-consuming expense claims, or for employees to wait to be reimbursed for money that’s come out of their own pocket.

  • Airwallex syncs hourly with Xero, so expenses are fed straight into your accounting software, 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 to manage your money better, apply for a free account online today, or watch a 3 minute demo online. 

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Tilly Michell
Content Marketing Manager

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

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