Why startups are transforming business expenses in India

The economic epicentre of the world used to be the UK. Then it became America, and then China. But now India is poised to be the next big thing – and that has financial implications for all of us, not least the sub-continent’s newest companies. Here’s why…

Business in India is on the up. Its number of new companies launched by young entrepreneurs is booming, but the business horizon is darkened because not all startups continue to flourish. Some stagnate; others cease to exist. The reason? Failure to look after cash and expenses effectively.

India is a big country; the distances involved in travelling in it to open branches in new locations is time consuming and relatively expensive. That latter point may seem mildly surprising, but pause to consider the numbers. In 2015 the total cost of business travel in the country was in the order of $24bn, according to the Global Business Travel Association. That figure was 7% up on 2014, and, predicts the Association, it’ll rise by another 7% this year, on the back of the potential for pro-business growth created by the election victory of Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata party.

Stretched cash flow
That’s all well and good, but just as a rapidly-advancing army weakens its position by stretching its supply lines, so rapidly-growing companies can find cash control becomes equally stretched.

And this is the age of the Millennial, the young person who lives life instantly as part of the ‘now’ generation. (Allow 28 days for delivery? What planet are you living on? That is so 1975). The way young people think – and a significant proportion of India’s emerging entrepreneurs are aged 30 or under – is the reason for the growth of apps like Uber, which offer services on demand through smartphone apps.

And that’s what gives business expenses app Solo Expenses as much potential power as the smartphone itself when it comes to guarding companies against failure through lack of control over business expenses. The reason is that, like booking a cab with Uber, control is there, at your fingertips. Expenses can be recorded instantly, and – here’s the clever part – the data that’s being collected can be interrogated and understood there and then, or passed to an accountant for a more detailed analysis.

The pros and cons
Without the security of expense management software, companies can have no precise idea of how much company cash is being spent – or where it’s going – until long after the transaction. ‘End of month’ billing means the true cost of a business trip isn’t known until long after it’s over. On the other hand, the use of Solo Expenses, which has been in the expense manager app industry since 2003, allows a spending picture to be painted in real time.

Without business expense software as a control aid, managers are too often pressured to make decisions on the fly and in isolation, which can lead to budget ceilings being breached – which isn’t understood until it’s too late, and extra financial pressure has been placed on the business.

And lumbering old-school paper and spreadsheet systems are not only too slow, but build in another opportunity for error to creep into a recording system. Because Solo Expenses records expenses in real time, the data it contains is readily presented for examination at any time of day or night – vital for working in multiple time zones.

Because data capture is simple (so long as it’s used diligently), business expense management software can not only flag up overspend warnings as they happen, but can also be the basis of a simple expenses policy that’s not only easily enforceable, but it will restrict overspends at source.

And the biggest advantage of all is that familiarity with smartphone technology means employees will take to using the software like ducks to water – making a significant contribution to keeping your startup company afloat in its early years.

Checkout the detail at our web site here – but before you do, remember that we have satisfied clients in almost 100 countries. That should tell you something about how effective this money management app really is…