An innovator in engineering and manufacturing, Protomet needed more than a corporate credit card. They needed flexible controls for expense management and greater visibility into company-wide spending. With BILL Spend & Expense, they got a modern, all-in-one solution.
For nearly 25 years, Matt Hensley has worked in manufacturing—as a finance administrator, ERP implementation leader, cost accountant, controller, and now as director of finance at Protomet. When he started in 2018, Protomet was (and still is) growing fast, but processes for spending and expense management hadn’t kept pace.
The company issued corporate credit cards to 25 employees, but all charges ran through one primary account. “What that meant,” Matt explained, “was that none of those people could see their statements unless they logged in as the primary account holder, and then they could see everyone’s statement. It was everything or nothing, and that wasn’t gonna work.”
Likewise, the manual process for reconciling expenses “wasn’t gonna work” either. Each month, a Protomet administrator spent 15–20 hours entering transactions into QuickBooks, even though most receipts were missing and no one reviewed or approved spend.
“My job is to get my hands around spend and understand where it goes,” Matt said. “As the first finance person at Protomet, I was looking for solutions.”
“My job is to get my hands around spend and understand where it goes.”
Matt found the BILL Spend & Expense platform while searching the web for financial software. He read reviews, took a demo, compared BILL Spend & Expense to other platforms on the market, and decided it had the functionality Protomet needed. Matt said it was also “important” that the BILL Spend & Expense platform is a no-cost solution.
Before he could move forward, Matt had to convince core Protomet leaders—all engineers—that BILL Spend & Expense would streamline operations, not complicate them.
His ultimate test was the VP of engineering. As Matt said, “He’s brilliant and all about getting things done. Because he travels a lot, BILL Spend & Expense would be something he’d have to use. I had to convince him that uploading receipts and coding transactions on the BILL Spend & Expense app would be easier than saving paper receipts. Once he tried it, we knew we had our solution.”
Relying on his experience with numerous system implementations, Matt took a big picture approach to rolling out BILL Spend & Expense. “I thought about all the possible scenarios for the types of financial information I would need,” he said. “From there, I built a template with my cost centers and my people to create a structure for Protomet.”
Creating this structure helped Matt pinpoint his favorite BILL Spend & Expense feature: custom fields. “We don’t have one big budget. We have a lot of cost centers. With custom fields in BILL Spend & Expense, we can track spending our way.”
“With custom fields in BILL Spend & Expense, we can track spending our way.”
Since switching to BILL Spend & Expense, Matt estimates the number of Protomet employees with credit cards has increased by 20%. “With traditional credit card companies, you need to make a phone call and provide social security numbers and other information to order a new card,” Matt said. “With BILL Spend & Expense, I can expand card usage myself—and with that kind of flexibility, I’m going to give everybody a card who needs one because I can control it.”
For example, Protomet truck drivers used to share one gas card. Now, they each have a BILL Divvy Corporate Card with a set spending limit, which gives them what they need to do their jobs. And, because every transaction is visible through the BILL Spend & Expense platform in real time, Matt has what he needs to do his job, too.
As for expense reporting, BILL Spend & Expense has cut the monthly 15–20 hour process down to about 15 minutes. “BILL Spend & Expense ties together spending, receipt management, expense reporting, and the approval process all in one package,” Matt said. “And it allows us to review more real-time information as we make decisions about the business.”
Beyond his positive experience with the BILL Spend & Expense platform, Matt said, “I’ve been really impressed with BILL Spend & Expense customer service. It’s on a different level.”
“BILL Spend & Expense ties together spending, receipt management, expense reporting, and the approval process all in one package.”