Improve Travel and Expense Management with ezCater, Starting with Food Spend
- Sarah Gurr
- 3 Min Read
Travel and expense management isn’t getting any easier. Your salespeople are always on the road. Breakfast meetings are becoming more and more common. And, team lunches are a growing part of company culture. Add that to your always-growing list of responsibilities and it may feel like you’re climbing Everest on a daily basis.
Even so, tracking, understanding, and managing your food spend is vital to trimming budgets and ensuring compliance. It’s easy for employees to make mistakes in their expense management. People commonly misreport or even lose their expenses, and so your food spend data is inaccurate. But how can you gain control?
ezCater allows you to better manage your travel and entertainment expenses. You can track what your organization spends on food and stay within your budget. We provide reporting on every order so you can start to identify trends and implement policies to rein in spending. It makes thing so easy that you might even gain a few minutes back in your day to, you know, grab lunch for yourself. Plus, every credit card transaction placed through ezCater is secure and every receipt is stored in case you need it later.
Understanding Your Food Spend
The first step in travel and expense management is knowing how much you’re spending. That may sound straightforward enough, but it isn’t that easy if you’re tracking expenses manually. ezCater keeps track of every catering order you place, and that lets you track your spend accurately. Every order receives a digital receipt that is stored in the platform. That means you never have to worry about your sales team losing receipts again. And even better than that, you will avoid handling food-soaked receipts forever. It also means your expenses will be accurate. Use the platform to analyze your previous food spend too. You can always view any past order receipt, regardless of whether the submitter is still with the company.
On top of all that, when you manually group and categorize your receipts, it also increases your labor costs. And you know there’s definitely better ways you could be spending your time. ezCater allows you to view and export reports with all your food spend data, cutting down on mistakes and time. The reporting includes data on who has ordered, order totals, food totals, delivery amounts, tip amounts, tax, headcount, price per head, and any other specifics about each event. And, you’re able to see data by user, order, or a date range so you can easily keep an eye out for trends. There are so many different ways to understand the value of your spend. Try basing your search on the day of the week or event times against food totals, and you’ll start to see if meetings could be scheduled differently to lower costs.
Do you need building codes or purchase order numbers? You can add those too, and you can export cost center and billing department data with reference codes and custom fields. Our Account Strategy team works with you to set up the reporting fields you need to supplement your food spend data or support your invoicing system.
Managing Your Food Spend
Once you have greater visibility into your organization’s food spending, you can start to manage your expenses to meet your budgets. After all, isn’t your goal to reduce your expenses so you can increase your profits? Using the platform, you can set daily, weekly, or monthly budgets. You can also implement limits on price per head, delivery costs, tips, and total costs, and set restrictions on particular users, a department, or your entire organization. Say you’d like to implement a budget of $300 per meal per employee in a department or a $10 price per head limit across the company. You can input that into the platform, and decide to either warn your team or prevent them from placing orders that violate the policy. All without a manager having to intervene for approval.
Planning for your future spend provides additional opportunities to manage and cut costs. But having actual visibility into your upcoming spending is better than any forecast based on trends. It’s a lot easier to make decisions when you know what’s going to happen. You can use ezCater to see upcoming orders and how they comply with your policies within the Billing tab. Keep an eye on future orders to see if there are any policy warnings and to make sure they match to upcoming events. All of this will ultimately help you manage your spend today and months down the road.
Getting Compliant, Securely
Your travel and expense program isn’t just about keeping employees within your budget. You also need to be mindful of information security. The more people who have access to your company credit cards, the higher the risk of a data breach. Openly sharing credit card information, allowing individual credit card usage, or issuing company cards to employees can make you vulnerable to security issues or fraud. ezCater allows your approved employees to leverage your company credit card for ezCater orders without sharing sensitive card information, protecting you from fraudulent spending. We also provide invoicing, so you can actually avoid sharing your credit cards entirely.
Learn more about ezCater can help you gain visibility into and manage your food spend.