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How Avenue One closes the books faster with greater control over spend.

Using Amex hindered automation and visibility for Avenue One. Now they manage spend in real time with Brex.

brex_avenueone
brex_avenueone

How Avenue One closes the books faster with greater control over spend.

Using Amex hindered automation and visibility for Avenue One. Now they manage spend in real time with Brex.


The TL;DR

With Amex corporate cards, Avenue One’s finance team couldn’t review transactions until the end of each month.

Avenue One needed a unified spend platform that could eliminate manual work, enable real-time visibility, and free the finance team to focus on big-picture strategy.

The solution: Powerful automations, easily customizable controls, and cost-saving insights from Brex.

The Impact

10-15 hours/month

Saved on reconciliation

10 hours/month

Saved on manager reviews

Proptech powered by fintech

Avenue One is an innovative proptech scale-up that provides a full-suite Single Family Rental (SFR) service platform and marketplace for institutional owners, buyers, and sellers of residential homes. With roughly 250 employees in the US and Canada, Avenue One deploys billions of dollars for their clients across the world’s largest asset class.

The company’s first corporate card left them saddled with manual work and minimal visibility into spend. Now, Avenue One is driving real-time accuracy and efficiency through automation, freeing the finance team to focus on big-picture strategy for maximal business impact.

Brex Chief Product Officer Karandeep Anand recently spoke with Avenue One Assistant Controller Katherine Spillane to learn more about how Avenue One is using Brex to close the books faster, gain AI-driven insights, and enable every member of the company to make the best possible financial decisions.


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katherine-avenueone-headshot

Q&A with

Katherine Spillane, Controller, Avenue One

How were you managing spend before Brex? What led Avenue One to seek out a unified spend solution?

We had about 20 employees at launch, so it was much easier to manage spend back then. At first, we were able to get by with American Express @ Work, but we were still waiting until month-end to see the actual transactions. There was no real-time visibility, so if we had to rectify an issue, or if we had a question for the cardholder, we would have to wait days or weeks. With our tight reporting window and ever-increasing volume, that just wasn’t viable.

Now, we conduct about 4,000 transactions every month. With that kind of growth, we needed a guardrail — a way to maintain visibility into all of our spend, in real time. Brex was the only solution that could keep up with our expansion and enable us to control our spend with the flexibility to meet our company’s specific needs.

How were you tracking expenses and receipts?

It was very manual — we would download the statement, go through each line one by one, and start digging for receipts. It’s definitely a breath of fresh air to have the visibility that Brex gives us.

Brex also enables the end user to help us. Now, employees have the ability to upload receipts and memos in seconds, making it more of a self-serve solution.

How has Brex changed the end user experience for employees and department managers?

We have Brex budgets set up by department, which enables us to designate department leads as the budget owners. Now, they have access to real-time reporting on their side, so they can see what their team is spending on and how they're trending against their monthly budget. As you can imagine, they’re big Brex fans.

The same goes for our employees, especially the ones that are in the field. The Brex mobile app lets them enable notifications via text message, reply with their receipt, and have it applied automatically. Now, our team never has to worry about lost receipts.

Have you been able to leverage Brex’s NetSuite integration to streamline your reconciliation process? Can you tell us more about how Brex interacts with your GL?

With Brex and NetSuite, we’re easily saving 10-15 hours every month on reconciliation. The integration also enables us to control the reporting our way.

We use a lot of custom rules for our GL mapping. For example, one vendor could have many, many GL codes that it hits, depending on the type of spend and the users involved. With Brex, we were able to customize roughly 100 rules for all these different scenarios and automate our flow of data into NetSuite.

“With Brex and NetSuite, we’re easily saving 10-15 hours every month on reconciliation.”

How much time are you saving each month with Brex?

Previously we would spend days doing the close for credit cards alone. That was a super manual and inefficient process — and that's just from the preparer side. On top of that, everything would have to go through review, which takes even more time. With Brex, we’re saving 10 hours per month on manager reviews alone. And our month-end close takes just one click — and we already know that everything is coded with our custom rules.

Also, from an FP&A standpoint, Brex helps us analyze our spend, track trends, surface insights, and help the management team make better decisions. If they’re debating whether to attend a conference this year, we can easily pull up last year’s data to show how much we spent versus how much business we brought in.

We do a lot of ad hoc reporting on events for management, so Brex has been a game-changer. Now, we can just run a quick filter in Brex to isolate the metrics of specific users on those days. Brex gives us granular cost-benefit analysis in minutes — not hours.

Avenue One considered multiple spend solutions before landing on Brex. What ultimately led you to Brex?

We needed to enforce our expense guidelines across the company, and we didn’t want that to be the sole job of one person. We needed a way to make it much more automated — obviously, still with some control and touch — but a solution that could be easily deployed and consumed by the user. Brex gave us the user-friendly solution that we were looking for.

What advice would you give to companies who are weighing their spend management options?

There are a ton of systems out there and they all do different things. So, start by evaluating what you want.

As an Assistant controller, my top priority is being able to slice data at a moment's notice, without delving into individual expense reports. With Brex, you can literally have all of that data at your fingertips, and I think that’s what sets Brex apart from the rest.

“With Brex, we’re saving 10 hours per month on manager reviews alone. And our month-end close takes just one click — and we already know that everything is coded with our custom rules.”

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