Budget optimisation with Moss: How Hasty operates more efficiently thanks to new insights
Implementing vision AI from research for reality – this is the self-declared goal of Hasty. Since 2018, experienced software engineers in the Berlin-based startup have been working on a fast and affordable solution to put innovative AI models into practice. And are now on their way to making Vision AI more accessible than ever for thousands of users.
- Unclear payment processes
- High overhead for missing receipts & invoices
- Lack of visibility into budgets and liquidity
- Transparent payment processes with virtual corporate credit cards
- Voucher scanning & automatic reminders
- Central budget overview and optimization in real time
It is widely known that things tend to be a little chaotic in young companies. No sooner has the company emerged from its infancy than the growth curve begins to climb steeply. Existing processes and transitional solutions are then no longer sufficient to keep up with the increasing demands. This is what happened to Berlin-based tech startup Hasty when it came to expense management. Lisa Wäntig, Head of Operations at Hasty, reveals how the company regained its overview with Moss and optimized its budget planning with newly gained insights.
As in many startups, Hasty's founders initially took care of all financial matters – despite a to-do list that was long enough without the daily tasks of expense management. Eventually, Lisa came on board as a "one-woman finance team" and began organizing the accounting from scratch. The company still relied on two corporate credit cards from a traditional bank in the traditional way. The only digital tool: The online banking function of the house bank. "When you're starting out as a company and you don't have that many expenses to juggle yet, you're usually working with the basics," Lisa recalls. Adding, "That was a bit of a disaster in itself."
The overview was lost
While the established credit card solution still seemed quite workable in the small team, the rapid growth of the tech startup presented increasing problems in expense management. It became steadily more difficult for the finance team to track which payments were made in which teams – and, most importantly, how much had already been spent. "Then someone comes up with an invoice and you have to try to get that into the accounting somehow," says Lisa, describing the unstructured process that many young companies might recognize themselves in.
As more members joined the Hasty team, expense management created more manual work for Lisa, especially at the end of the month: "It was just insanely exhausting for our accountants to chase people down for invoices."
Organizing finances centrally also presented the team with the problem of keeping track of all expenses incurred. This would have required weekly budget meetings. However, because of the huge time commitment involved, Hasty, as many young companies, refrained from doing so. As a result, a complete insight into budgets and an overview of costs was only available at the end of the month, when all expenses had already been incurred. This made it impossible for Lisa to set budgets directly, adjust them as needed, and communicate them to teams. The internal budget became a big question mark.
When even small payments become a burden
The lack of visibility and unstructured spending processes eventually meant that even small payments placed an enormous burden on the Hasty team. Just finding the person with the physical credit card became a time-consuming endeavor, let alone approving individual payments. "That means making even minor decisions, like 'Can I order something for my team or not?" was not so easy," Lisa says.
The problem: The lack of budget oversight among the finance team also created uncertainty among teams about what funds were available for spending. As a result, team members lacked the freedom to make their own spending decisions. "Imagine we have to print T-shirts," Lisa describes one of the many examples. "Then, of course, our marketing manager asks the question, 'How do I pay for that now?' If that's being paid privately and going through compensation, that's an insane amount of extra work."
As the team grew, Hasty increasingly lost track of its expenses and budgets. So eventually the company was faced with the question, "How much can we actually spend right now?" This uncertainty ensured that every payment involved additional inquiries, and even small expenses meant an immense amount of extra work for the team.
In October 2020, Hasty finally decided to automate expense management, initially trying out Moss as a digital solution. The positive effect was immediate: "We first tried Moss and all at once immediately realized what we were spending all our money on. Secondly, we were able to see who was spending how much money," Lisa enthuses. The insights the tech company had previously lacked were now clearly available in one place, paving the way for more efficient expense management with optimized budgets.
More control allows greater freedom for the team
After the rocketing start with Moss, Lisa began to exchange the old company credit cards for more and more physical and virtual credit cards from Moss. The intuitive and easy handling of the tool immediately excited her. In particular, the fast and unlimited access to the virtual Mastercard cards ensured that "colleagues have the freedom to get their own card without there being a lot of paperwork or a lot of work behind it. It's two clicks and they have their own card."
The possibility of freezing cards just as quickly allowed Lisa additional control over employee spending: "We can immediately say 'We're not spending any more money on this now' and take the card down. [...] Then it's also gone in two clicks when it's no longer needed." It's a process that can often take four to six weeks of waiting at traditional banks.
"Moss has made it possible for us to instantly see, all at once, which team has how much budget available in the month in the first place."
So at Hasty, everyone from the CMO to the intern can easily make expenses using Moss virtual credit cards, while Lisa keeps full track of all spending. Even onboarding new employees has been simplified by giving each team member quick and easy access to individual credit cards. "It's just a nice feeling not having to ask for everything from the top."
Planning budgets with foresight, looking to the future with confidence
Insights into the current spending and cost situation are now available to Lisa on a daily basis rather than at the end of the month. As Head of Operations, she gets an overview every morning and checks whether everyone is on track. This provides her with important insights immediately and allows her to optimize budgets in real time. If a team exceeds the calculated budget, the reasons and possible need for adjustment can be discussed immediately over coffee, and spending limits can be adjusted with just a few clicks in Moss.
Even long-term budget planning is feasible thanks to the newly gained insights. With the detailed spend data from the Moss dashboard, Lisa can forecast future expenses and recurring costs, keeping the big picture in mind at all times when making decisions: "We can now immediately see how everything is impacting our overall budget". This allows for quick and thoughtful budget decisions that are directly visible to all teams in Moss.
Moss brings structure to accounting
In addition to streamlining spending processes, Moss ultimately allowed Hasty to significantly streamline its previously cumbersome pre-accounting, starting with the tedious process of collecting all receipts and invoices at the end of the month. Instead of constantly checking to see if all the documents are there and which ones are still missing, Lisa now simply uses Moss to filter out in seconds who still has receipts to upload. "It's quite easy to pinpoint with Moss," she reports happily. And reminders are sent automatically on a fixed deadline – whether by email or via Slack.
Lisa also invited the external accountants who handle the month-end closing for Hasty to the Moss platform. This made collaboration even more efficient. "Whether I spend two days gathering all the month's financials together, or our accountant can export all that automatically from Moss – it makes a huge difference." The integrated DATEV interface, which allows all relevant data to be synchronized with DATEV Unternehmen online in a matter of seconds, provides valuable assistance.