To end overspending, the sales team at Golf Genius Software needed greater visibility into travel budgets. The finance team, meanwhile, needed a way to end expense reporting. With BILL Spend & Expense, the got a complete budgeting and expense management solution on par with their own innovative technology.
In 2018, the Golf Genius sales team “bogeyed” their finances, going 10% over budget on travel. Not because they were careless, but as CFO Lou Lombardo put it, because “management couldn’t tell people where they were against their budgets.”
The problem was the company’s slow-moving expense reporting process. Each month, employees scanned or photographed every paper receipt from both corporate credit cards and personal cards, then pasted the digital images into Excel spreadsheets. Once every expense was categorized and reconciled, Lou’s assistant Ashley submitted payments for all 15 corporate cards and reimbursed employees for personal charges.
With up to 30 days lag time between credit card purchases and monthly statements—plus time spent gathering, scanning, and reviewing receipts—the company was a month or more behind in their ability to report on budgets. Daily, weekly, and even the current month’s expenses were unknown because they didn’t yet have a paper trail.
As a results-driven department, the Golf Genius sales team needed more immediate insights into annual travel budgets. And, with 20 years’ experience in finance and accounting (and financial paper trails), Lou was “big on the idea of automation.”
“Management couldn’t tell people where they were against their budgets.”
Having used a number of software applications to manage expenses and travel, Lou had never seen a full-service solution for charge cards, budgeting, expense tracking, and accounting system integration. That’s why, when he learned about BILL Spend & Expense platform on LinkedIn, he thought it was the most complete and easy-to-use solution he’d ever seen.
In December 2018, Lou requested cards for 20 Golf Genius employees. He said the transition from their corporate cards was easy and required only minimal training on the app. As he explained to staff, “[BILL Spend & Expense] works just like any other charge card you have.” The difference is “how connected and seamless everything is—from spending and tracking to budgeting and accounting.”
About his overall impression of the platform, Lou said, “Spend & Expense has been a breath of fresh air in what’s usually a painful and arduous process.” He loves that even though Spend & Expense is free, the company earns rewards just for using it.
Members of the Golf Genius sales team are thankful for newfound visibility into their budgets. According to Lou, they’ve always been “very budget savvy,” but now they can see exactly what they have left for the year, which makes them more careful planners and spenders. And they echo Lou’s sentiment that Spend & Expense is flexible and easy to use.
“Spend & Expense has been a breath of fresh air in what’s usually a painful and arduous process.”
Since adopting Spend & Expense, Lou reports that “Golf Genius has saved significant time creating and processing expense reports—at least 60 hours a month as a company.” He estimates that he and Ashley now spend only three hours each month reviewing expenses.
With tighter management of individual travel budgets, the sales team is spending less overall because they’re consolidating trips and doing more to stretch their funds throughout the year. Lou said, “I believe we’re saving thousands of dollars a quarter as a result of real-time budget tracking. Before Spend & Expense, people would ask where they were against their budgets, and now we know.”
In addition to using Spend & Expense for greater visibility and control of travel spending, Golf Genius creates one-off budgets for special projects and events. They also use the BILL + QuickBooks Online integration, which syncs enhanced data with one click, and automatically creates entries in QBO from transactions in Spend & Expense. “It’s a great solution,” Lou said, “and it’s easy to manage.”
“I believe we’re saving thousands of dollars a quarter as a result of real-time budget tracking.”