03 September 2020

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Mobile working has reached the tipping point.

In the UK 50% of employees now work remotely. Factor in COVID-19 lockdown and it’s likely to be even higher.

While the way a workforce works remotely may differ (deskless, remote, untethered, WFH, on-site, client-based, in-cab or field-service), they often share a common challenge – managing expenses.

Monitoring expenses has traditionally been a challenge, but with the onset of Covid-19, monitoring and controlling expenses has taken a heavy toll on finance teams, fleet and ops managers, and workers trying to manage their own productivity – especially where face-to-face contact is limited.

Paying expenses upfront stresses mobile staff and saps productivity.

From subsistence and accommodation to transport and fuel, there’s myriad business and out-of-pocket expenses to consider. Many pay-and-reclaim policies push the financial burden onto employees. Reimbursement delays can leave staff out-of-pocket, causing stress to workers who may already be financially stretched.

Poor processes also hits productivity. Did you know the average UK mobile-worker spends 70% of their time on everything but their job? Admin eats up a lot of effort. And for mobile workers, a large chunk of this is gathering, processing, and chasing expenses. Research for Allstar uncovered that over 50% of employees in some sectors said keeping and processing receipts was their biggest frustration with expenses.

How can mobile workers break free?

The obvious answer is to give mobile staff the payment means to settle and submit expenses as they happen. This strips out ‘the reimbursement loop’, lightens the financial load and frees employees to focus on more productive tasks.

But can you trust them with a business credit card? How do you control spend and make sure there’s no unauthorised expenditure?

Set your own spend limits. 

Previously, an inability to set appropriate controls on credit cards stopped many businesses giving them to their mobile workforce. Larger businesses may need one level of spend limits for central office expenses, another for senior execs, and then another for employees on-the-road. Complexity leads to misuse and confusion. So, what’s the answer?

Get back in the driving seat.

A new generation of business expense cards such as Allstar Expense offer ‘easy-to-tailor-and-apply’ spending controls, right down to individual card level. Now you can:

  • Stay on track

Set spend limits for each employee to prevent misuse. Real-time controls prevent post-spend regrets, reducing authorisation time and ensuring purchases are legitimate.

  • Steer clear of cash flow issues

Paying up front with a business card means employees are never out-of-pocket. Businesses can keep track of expenditure as it happens - no surprises or out of date claims.

  • Get employees in the fast lane

Parking, tolls and fuel can be paid instantly, without contacting the office first, allowing mobile workers to move quickly between sites and clients.

  • Prevent paper jams

No expense forms means receipts are submitted straight away. This prevents paperwork and receipts mounting up or being lost.

  • Keep everyone safe

A card based payment solutions is more hygienic than cash. Removing 'dirty' money and receipts is a must for all organisations since COVID-19.

Find out more about managing out-of-office expenses, download our latest report ‘How expense management needs to shift gear to keep pace with post-COVID-19 workplaces’.

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