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The Boston Celtics save time, focus on winning strategies with Brex.

The 18-time World Champions chose Brex as their corporate card and spend management solution to streamline everything from scouting trips to expense reporting to closing the books.

Celtics logo lockup
Celtics logo lockup

The Boston Celtics save time, focus on winning strategies with Brex.

The 18-time World Champions chose Brex as their corporate card and spend management solution to streamline everything from scouting trips to expense reporting to closing the books.

The Celtics’ all-star finance squad, backed by Brex.

The Boston Celtics’ winning strategy starts with a high-impact finance team fueled by operational efficiency. That’s why Celtics Senior Vice President and Controller Patrick Lynch is excited to use Brex, the team’s new corporate card and spend management solution.

Brex recently sat down with Lynch to discuss the Celtics’ finance needs and Lynch’s plans to optimize spending and increase efficiency with Brex’s expense and accounting automation. The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.

LynchPat
LynchPat

Q&A with

Patrick Lynch, Senior Vice President and Controller, Boston Celtics

What led you to look for a new corporate card and spend management solution?

We’re always looking for more efficient ways to run the business from a finance and accounting perspective, and after upgrading to NetSuite as our accounting system, we started to look for an integrated corporate card and spend platform that would help automate more of our expense and accounting processes.

We did some research on Brex and really liked what we saw. Beyond Brex’s superior technology, we were really excited about the empowerment it would give our employees to make transactions and simplify their expenses.

We also knew Brex would take our accounting team from reactive to proactive. For instance, Brex automates the submission of expense reports, so our accounting team will have everything they need to close the books in real time. With our old systems, we relied on employees to submit their expense reports, which meant the finance team had limited visibility until after expenses were submitted and could wait weeks before being able to review spend. Brex’s real-time visibility will be a game-changer.

Track spend
Track spend

Do you have any finance challenges unique to being an NBA team?

We do have a number of important reporting obligations to the NBA, and everything is more data-driven and analytical these days. Brex’s real-time visibility and custom reporting will make it easier and faster to provide the most accurate reporting and financial statements possible.

With Brex and NetSuite syncing data in real time, we’ll always be ready to deliver accurate statements and projections that meet league requirements. That’s going to be very beneficial for us moving forward.

How will Celtics employees use their Brex corporate cards?

I anticipate the Brex corporate card playing a big role in our procurement process. We’ve been manually writing digital checks and sending them out for payment on invoices, and then manually syncing them with NetSuite. We plan to use the Brex corporate card to pay and automate some of those procurement expenses.

That’s super exciting, because the procurement transactions will then roll right from the Brex corporate card into NetSuite directly. Historically, there’s been a lag between when we get an invoice and when the customer gets paid. Brex will solve that because the corporate card payments are faster, and our data will automatically sync from Brex to our ERP.

I also foresee us using our Brex corporate card for recurring monthly costs that we’d normally write checks or wires for — like rent and utilities. Brex will also play a role in how we enable and manage our travel spend. Brex is a really flexible corporate card program.

“Brex’s real-time visibility and custom reporting will make it easier and faster to provide the most accurate reporting and financial statements possible.”

How will Brex’s proactive spend management improve your operations?

The problem with our prior solution’s reactive approach was less about the cost and more about time. The inefficiencies caused our finance team to focus on things that they shouldn't, like chasing down employees to submit expense reports. Now Brex gives us a solution where we can pre-approve spend limits with embedded controls and expense reporting is automated. Since expenses are accounted for accurately and correctly, our team can regain its capacity to focus on high-level strategic work, such as FP&A and projections.

Brex is also going to improve the employee experience. In the past, employees would swipe credit cards and submit the transactions afterwards. Now they have a pre-approved spend limit with a clear, auto-enforced policy. For example, an employee going on a scouting trip will know how much they can spend and where even before the trip.

The finance team will no longer have to manually contact employees to keep tabs on expenses, and employees will be empowered to make decisions on how to spend wisely and drive growth. Brex’s spend limits make it easy to delegate accountability and remove blockers while keeping spend in control automatically. We’re also excited that the Brex mobile app is much more user-friendly than the other technologies that we had in the past.

policy+automated receipt
policy+automated receipt

Do you expect that Brex will help optimize the impact of your spending?

Obviously, our organizational goal is to win a championship. As the finance team, we work with our basketball operations group to ensure we're spending money in the right areas. We’re lucky to work for an ownership group that's really committed to spending what it takes to win, but we still have to manage that spend.

I think Brex will change the way we look at our scouting expenses, for example. We’re going to have a more detailed, analytical approach with Brex on board so we can understand where the front office is going to spend money on scouting and which games are important. With that data, we can see where we’re getting the highest ROI on scouting spend. And that’s just one example on the team side.

“We’re lucky to work for a basketball ownership group that's committed to spending what it takes to win, but we still have to manage that spend.”

How has the Brex implementation process been?

We moved to Brex in the middle of the season, which is a busy time for us, and the Brex team has been giving us the white glove experience. They’ve been doing an excellent job of helping us get set up, answering our questions, and showing us how we can get the most out of Brex.

The Brex team has also helped us reexamine the way we think about processes going forward. We’re not married to our current processes, so I always ask them if there’s a better way to think about things. They’ve pointed us to key areas where we can streamline our processes even further. So far, it’s been a great partnership, and we’re very happy with the level of support we’ve received.

Overall, we’re really excited to get everyone up and running on our side of the business. And we’re really looking forward to what we’ll be able to achieve together.

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See what Brex can do for you.

Learn how our spend platform can increase the strategic impact of your finance team and future-proof your company.

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Campaign footer mobile
Campaign footer mobile

See what Brex can do for you.

Learn how our spend platform can increase the strategic impact of your finance team and future-proof your company.

Get started

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