Controllers Council recently held a panel discussion on Simplify Spend and Expense Management for a Hybrid Workforce, sponsored by BILL.

BILL is the leader in financial automation software for small and mid-size businesses. Our expert panelists are Aaron Wilkinson and Joe Fleischer. Aaron Wilkinson is a senior account executive at BILL. Joe Fleischer is a webinar content marketing manager at BILL.

Following are key takeaways to this discussion. If you are interested in learning more, view the full webinar archive video here.

Hybrid workforce is a blended type of workforce comprised of employees who may work at the office or a centralized location or maybe from a different remote location.

What challenges have companies encountered with maintaining visibility into and control over expenses that remote and hybrid employees incur?

A lot of challenges are around the communication, coordination, and compliance of dealing with our spend and expense management policies or different policies that we have at the company.

Manual processes to review and approve employees’ expenses

Companies still rely on manual processes to review and approve employees’ expenses because:

  1. Change is hard
  2. We sometimes don’t know any better
  3. We don’t find time to figure out if and how we can implement something new

There are many risks when using this method. These risks include:

  1. Human error
  2. Inefficient use of staff time and unnecessary work
  3. Poor data collection
  4. Poor turnaround time
  5. Poor perceptions of employers

If you have an employee that has a perception that the company is maybe behind the times, disorganized, is not willing to change and implement best practices, that can have maybe perhaps poor perception by the employees about the company, then it may be time to try to automate things as quick as possible to help eliminate those risks that you have from that manual process.

How would you recommend that companies adapt spend and expense management policies to accommodate hybrid and remote employees?

Someone once said that when you’re ever trying to get anybody to do anything, it’s 10% commitment and 90% follow-up. Well, all the time, companies are trying to implement spend an expense policy. Sometimes we say when they get hired, we’re like, “Okay, read the employee manual, the policies there.” But it’s more than just that, that’s only 10% of the equation. We need to continually be following up on those policies. So not only do people remember, because if you’re like me, I swear, 10% goes in and 90% goes right out, so oftentimes we learn through repetition. It’s important to communicate this expense management policies regularly.

On top of communicating the policies, you should simplify and speed up process for reviewing and approving employees’ expenses and automate workflows for revieing and approving employees’ expenses.

Do companies believe that spend and expense management is top priority?

A lot of people say it is a top priority, but when you talk more about it, oftentimes there are other higher priorities. For example, we’re in an economic slowdown or they’re implementing a new accounting software and they have a lot going on. So not always is at a top priority. Now, I would love to say that it should be a top priority just because it’s something simple and easy to do in comparison to dealing with a financial slowdown or implementing a new accounting software.

Automating spend and expense management

If your company is looking into using automation to streamline spend and expense management, you should:

  1. Make the decision a priority
  2. Make it a goal
  3. Give yourself time
  4. Do your research – look into 2 or 3 companies
  5. Act quickly

To view the complete webcast, download full webinar here.


BILL (NYSE: BILL) is a leader in financial automation software for small and midsize businesses (SMBs). As a champion of SMBs, we are dedicated to automating the future of finance so businesses can thrive. Hundreds of thousands of businesses trust BILL solutions to manage financial workflows, including payables, receivables, and spend and expense management. With BILL, businesses are connected to a network of millions of members, so they can pay or get paid faster. Through our automated solutions, we help SMBs simplify and control their finances, so they can confidently manage their businesses, and succeed on their terms. BILL is a trusted partner of leading U.S. financial institutions, accounting firms, and accounting software providers. BILL is headquartered in San Jose, California. For more information, visit