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Live Budgets: Actionable, real-time spend data.

Provision, track, and adjust spend in real time to increase accountability and ROI.

Live Budgets: Actionable, real-time spend data.

Provision, track, and adjust spend in real time to increase accountability and ROI.

Live budgets preview (1)
Live budgets preview (1)

Visibility into spend is a business superpower.

“Knowledge is power.” “To be in the know is to be in control.” “Knowing is half the battle.”

When it comes to your business spend, real-time visibility into where your money goes truly is power. It can help you make better decisions, mitigate risk, plan more strategically, and prevent overspending.

While real-time visibility is powerful, the opposite is also true — reactively reviewing spend data at month end is powerless. Unfortunately, retroactive visibility is the reality that most businesses deal with, as their current systems can’t deliver comprehensive visibility into their spend without a ton of manual work. That’s because “spend management” for many organizations is built on:

  • Disparate systems: Financial data for different types of spend (travel, expenses, stipends, procurement, etc.) lives in disparate systems that have limited communication between each other and your ERP, leading to time-consuming reconciliation during month-end close.

  • Slow closing processes: Because financial data isn’t ready to be aggregated and centralized until the month’s end, reporting is often old, stale, and delayed by at least 15 to 30 days — when it’s far too late to stop unwanted spend or reallocate budgets.

  • Out-of-date insights: Business intelligence and complex insights tools require specific data inputs produced only after the close process is completed, so decision-makers have to make due with the stale data they have when urgent spend decisions arise.

As a department lead, how do you answer these questions: “Do we have budget for a team offsite? Is there money for training and development? Can we get more software licenses? Is there funding available for a social media ad campaign this month?”

Budget owners often don’t have the answers, so they go to the finance team. But even finance leaders can’t give a clear answer because they lack up-to-date information. Using multiple spend solutions for separate (but very much related) processes like corporate cards, expense management, travel, bill pay, stipends, and procurement has that effect on finance teams.

With outmoded or traditional approaches to spend, every level of the company is making an educated guess now — and then reconciling later after expense reports are submitted or month-end close happens, with no ability to make live adjustments based on live data.

Can you imagine how powerful it would be if you had real-time information on where your money was being spent and could reallocate spend live? Brex’s proprietary Live Budgets™ feature delivers just that, providing a visibility superpower into every type of spend across your business globally.

What are Live Budgets?

The concept of budgets is unique to Brex. Our budget capabilities make it easy to provision spend limits for specific needs, such as travel, events, procurement, or incidentals. You can provision spending budgets to individuals, teams, or departments. Budgets can be delegated and shared.

Budgets may sound like a type of credit card limit, but they go far beyond provisioning spend limits. Brex budgets are a way to control your company spend before it happens using a combination of limits, embedded policies, and AI-driven controls. Budgets create a culture of trust and accountability and enable employees to make disciplined financial decisions on the company’s behalf.

Employees can use one Brex card (or reimbursements) to spend from any budget assigned to them. Your appropriate policy will automatically apply, and it will be tracked accurately on the backend. This enables security, speed, and real-time visibility. For finance leaders, that’s the magic of Live Budgets — you can see every transaction from T&E to procurement in real time and take action if money is being misused or would drive higher impact elsewhere.

The benefits of Live Budgets.

Live Budgets are about gaining real-time insights into all your spend (no matter how or where it happens) and to drive accountability and keep everyone on budget. With our Live Budgets, you can:

  • Provision spending budgets in virtually any currency for departments, teams, individuals, and global entities.

  • Customize spending limits with embedded expense policies at any level, such as by purpose, category, merchant, department, team, role, or individual.

  • Enable employees to use one card for everything, since multiple spend limits and policies are applied to one card, as well as to request reimbursements from a specific budget.

  • Enable accounts payable teams to pay invoices by ACH, wires, check, or card from an assignment budget for greater control of procurement spend.

  • Track spending actuals against your budgets in real time, with multi-currency visibility, and talk to budgets owners about tradeoffs if spending needs readjustment.

  • Automate compliance by allowing employees to request a spending budget with pre-approved limits and built-in policies.

A superpower for finance leaders and budget owners.

The vast majority of company spending happens outside the finance department, so it’s understandable to want to institute an abundance of controls. However, that can be detrimental to the business by slowing down legitimate employee spending that would otherwise be approved.

With Live Budgets, you get the best of both worlds — you can set up employees (and your business) for success by empowering them to spend quickly but within your preset guardrails.

Live Budgets have a real impact on finance teams as well as budget owners. Finance leaders and other budget administrators get more control and strategic leverage through:

  • Visibility: Get a comprehensive interface to track — in real time — all spend items across the entire company.

  • Delegation: Automate budget provisioning and delegation to various department owners.

  • Trust: Empower employees to spend and invest on behalf of the company with embedded policies.

  • Agility: Quickly reallocate money to other departments or budgets that are delivering more business impact.

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Image 2_ Desktop4

With budgets, you can confidently delegate decision making authority to budget owners such as managers, department heads. In turn, they can get visibility into their teams’ spending against budgets and are empowered to make important spending decisions for their functional area.

This democratization of spending decisions means the finance team no longer solely manages budget workflows from the top down. Instead, a culture of trust and accountability is created, and employees everywhere are empowered to make better financial decisions. Budget owners can focus on the future instead of wasting time on manual work related spend that’s already happened.

Activate your budget superpower today.

Live Budgets are the tool finance leaders have been asking for and budget owners didn’t know they needed. Instead of waiting for month-end financial closes, help your teams make the most informed budgets decisions today.

Want to consolidate your spend so you can reap the most value from Live Budgets? Check out our white paper “Unified spend: The X-factor for sustainable growth” to discover how a unified platform automates compliance, prevents overspending, and helps global organizations close the books faster.


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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