While there may be an array of expense management solutions for businesses and their employees to automate the expense report and reimbursement process, one startup has just launched onto the market in an effort to take expense report automation a step further.
Pleo is emerging out of what reports describe as "relative stealth mode," according to TechCrunch on Thursday (June 9), and entering its beta phase. The company provides employers with a MasterCard commercial card, either physical or virtual, and purchases made with the tool are automatically categorized while capturing transaction data and receipts.
Corporations can set individual restrictions for each employee on the cards, and transaction data can then be integrated into existing accounting systems.
"The company credit card has not changed in the past 25 years," said Pleo Cofounder and CEO Jeppe Rindom, reports said. "IT takes several weeks to get one, and due to its fixed spending limit and delayed data, it involves a lot of trust to offer it to an employee."
"Most smaller businesses, therefore, only care to give away very few cards," he continued.
He pointed to the makeshift ways businesses work around this challenge, either by having employees pay out of pocket or having a single card that’s shared among multiple employees.
"But all of this creates friction," he said. "Employees are feeling disempowered, and there is a lot of added complexity to the administration. Financial managers report that up to 50 percent of their monthly transactions are unknown."
Reports said Pleo was developed on the understanding that a card-only solution does not address all of the challenges employers face today, and neither does a cloud-based expense management solution.
"No matter how pretty and smart you expense app is, it just cannot tell you who borrowed your card 12 months ago and now the annual subscription renewed," said Rindom.
According to reports, Pleo will focus on expansion in the U.K. and Denmark, targeting SMEs with up to 100 employees.