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Extend launches 'team budgets' to boost autonomy & secure expenses
Mon, 1st Apr 2024

Extend, a specialist in virtual card and spend management platforms, has announced the availability of 'team budgets', a new feature that is targeted at aiding finance leaders in organising and controlling expenses.

This feature aims to enhance the security of transactions but also impart a high degree of autonomy to employees, enabling them to create and manage virtual cards with greater ease. More than 6,000 businesses utilise Extend for undertaking millions of virtual card transactions, worth billions of dollars, annually. The introduction of team budgets will make this process more streamlined, whilst significantly reducing the risks typically associated with card sharing.

Usually, companies grant specific employees access to a corporate card for payment purposes or provide credit card details to vendors for their records. The conventional system of sharing company credit cards amongst multiple individuals can be fraught with risk, while using personal cards can lead to efficiency issues.

The team budgets feature from Extend empowers finance leaders to allocate specific budgets to team members. These professionals can then create secure, on-demand virtual cards for company expenses, thereby ensuring that costs are well-regulated and within their control. This not only offers significant protection against fraud but also reduces administrative workloads, the company states. Budget owners have the flexibility to securely give administrative access and management responsibilities to others, meaning important payments won't be missed in their absence.

Dillon Reed, an accountant at Ruoff Mortgage, a company which has consistently ranked amongst the fastest-growing businesses in the US and employs over 700 staff in approximately 60 locations, commended Extend for its accountability features. Reed remarked: “With budgets, the responsibility and accountability go to the individual rather than distributing a photocopied credit card with no way to tell which transactions are legit. Extend makes the employee accountable for their charges, and we have visibility over receipts for reconciling and audit purposes."

The team budgets feature, built into the Extend system, provides several unique advantages to its users. It allows for the easy addition of team members for co-managing a budget or to temporarily approve virtual card requests, reducing expenses and lengthy approvals. It also provides a way to create unique virtual cards for different vendors, clients, and other expense needs under supervised control. This makes spending more secure while eliminating the risky behaviour of card-sharing, the company states.

Furthermore, budgets can be allocated to fit specific expense needs with real-time visibility over all budget activity, which makes it easier to track everything spent. One additional benefit is that by giving employees a secure method for making payments, more spend can be captured on the company credit card, potentially increasing the rewards earned from card programmes by up to four times.

Danny Morrow, Extend's Chief Innovation Officer and Co-Founder, views the solution as an ideal answer for today’s finance leaders. "Finance leaders struggle with a common dilemma; if they don't delegate, the burden on them is enormous, and they become a bottleneck. But if they do delegate, they lose control and increase financial risk. Extend solves this dilemma with team budgets," said Morrow.