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November 5, 2020

How TripActions Renders Legacy Expense Management Obsolete

A revolution is brewing in payments and spend management at TripActions.

TripActions Liquid, a payments and expense platform that eliminates expense management, is officially off the ground and gathering momentum as a next-generation tool for handling company spend and reconciliation. While many in the industry bolt together disparate payments and expense systems, TripActions Liquid is far more transformational. Only by connecting travel, payments, and spend systems in a single platform designed from the ground up can the entire expense process be eliminated.

The new offering completely revolutionizes the way companies handle their business spend by eliminating the arduous process of capturing and filing receipts, streamlining the approval process and accelerating reconciliation for finance teams. With a seamless integration to the TripActions travel product and smart policy built around trips, TripActions is the only end-to-end corporate travel, payments and expense solution for businesses to manage their spend.

To contextualize this sea change, let’s take a look at how spend management is typically managed. Legacy tools typically have clunky user experiences and interfaces with business models that depend entirely on the idea of the expense report. Employees front personal money for business expenses – say to put the deposit down on a hotel room or purchase software – then go through the bureaucratic process of submitting the expense. It might be through a digital receipt capture or stapling all of the paperwork to a printed-out Excel spreadsheet. The expense then goes through a complex, usually unnecessary approval process and the employee finally gets reimbursed weeks after submitting the report.

The reconciliation process adds another layer of complexity. After the report is filed, accounting teams spend painful days at the end of the month reconciling a slew of transactions with the correct cost center, trip, employee, and more. Often, teams need to follow up with each individual employee to get more context around and ensure compliance. If receipts are missing, there’s additional forms and processes.

It is clear that this process is broken. TripActions Liquid was built to turn this process on its head and completely revolutionize the way companies think about expense management.

It starts with rethinking the way that systems talk to one another. Legacy expense management companies force customers to piecemeal multiple vendors and solutions together to capture end-to-end T&E and light procurement. Traditionally, these systems don’t seamlessly integrate with one another very well as they’re all developed by different vendors on different platforms. That disconnect means customers have to handle multiple vendors and the bureaucracy associated with those contracts and subscriptions. TripActions Liquid, on the other hand, has travel, payments, expense, and reconciliation deeply integrated into its stack. One solution to rule them all.

One of the most unique values of TripActions Liquid comes in the way in which spend is tracked, managed, and authorized. Since travel is tightly intertwined with payments and expense, TripActions Liquid gets contextual information coming from the platform which allows for dynamic, more intelligent controls. This provides for many unique benefits for employees and gives finance teams more control and real-time visibility into all spend.

It also means that travel spend within the TripActions platform through virtual cards is immediately and automatically reconciled — with no need for any manual work on the part of the employee or accounting team. Outside of spend on flight, hotels, and cars, an employee traveling on the record and in policy with a TripActions Liquid card can swipe for a lunch purchase or a taxi to the airport. The system will automatically recognize, approve of, and reconcile that expense — all without a report, receipt or bureaucratic undertaking.

No company or disjointed combination of services can replicate that kind of experience. Some tools have created convenient ways to capture receipts; others have added basic virtual cards to their solution. But no other modern expense solution has interleaved everything together and filed the patents to eliminate the process of expenses.

With TripActions Liquid, automation is done while simultaneously giving finance teams more control and real-time visibility into all spend. Companies can apply surgical policies to each virtual and physical card, and those constraints can even govern the spend at the point of sale. With intelligent auto-approval technology, managers only need to focus approvals on flagged transactions. With receipt and payment details captured automatically and in real-time, accounting teams can essentially skip reconciliation for non-travel spend as well.

TripActions Liquid’s intelligence and connection to the travel platform means that CFOs can issue cards to all employees. That capability, along with the process of automatic approvals, means TripActions has effectively eliminated expense management. It’s an absolute revolution, and it’ll change the way that companies from corner store bodegas to Fortune 500 companies manage travel, payments, expense and reconciliation in the future.

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