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Traversing rising operational costs for businesses from a finance executive’s perspective


By Corey Noyek, VP of Finance, Cardata

Economic ups and downs and rising operational costs makes my role as a corporate finance expert more high-stakes than ever. I’m the VP of Finance at Cardata, a SaaS vehicle reimbursement tech company, and I’ve seen firsthand how tough it can be for businesses to stay financially stable and keep growing when costs are skyrocketing and uncertainties are everywhere. In this piece, I want to share some strategies and insights that have helped us navigate these challenging times, with a focus on efficiency, careful planning, and working closely with other departments to manage our profit and loss (P&L) statement effectively.

The current economic landscape

No one can deny that the economic landscape is undergoing a seismic shift, visible in the seemingly endless upward trajectory of costs across most operational fronts. This surge in expenses presents significant challenges for businesses everywhere, necessitating a real strategic reassessment of financial management practices. As finance execs, our responsibility is to optimize resources and implement new cost management strategies to protect profitability during periods of major uncertainty. 

Cost management is about finding efficiencies and planning

Managing costs effectively starts with a close look at the P&L statement. Every line item is a chance to find savings, so at Cardata, we scrutinize our expenses, from the largest expenses down to the most minute. This detailed review helps us spot where we can be more efficient without cutting corners on quality. A methodical approach allows for us to evaluate the broader implications of cost saving initiatives, thereby informing our choices when it comes down to the wire.

One major lesson I’ve learned in my finance and operations career is the value of scenario planning and stress testing. When the economy is shaky, it’s vital to plan for different situations and scenarios in order to be adequately prepared for a broad array of crises. This proactive approach helps us stay financially stable while continuing to scale as a business. By constantly monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) and sales projections, we can tweak our strategies in real-time to stay on track with our financial goals.

Breaking down silos through cross-departmental collaboration

A significant pain point that all finance professionals face is the lack of transparency and collaboration between departments. At Cardata, we have made it a priority to foster a culture of cross-departmental collaboration, breaking down silos and encouraging open communication. This approach allows us to formulate costs across departments, ensuring that each team understands the financial implications of their actions.

For instance, our collaboration with the Human Resources (HR) team has been pivotal in optimizing salary and wage expenses. Rising labor costs have been a major challenge, with an approximate 5% increase across industries over the past year, by some reports. To address this, we have championed performance-based compensation structures and collaborative employee development programs. By aligning HR strategies with financial goals, we have been able to nurture a motivated workforce while upholding good fiscal judgment.

We’ve also prioritized operational efficiencies, using data to find cost-saving opportunities. For instance, we cut utility expenses by adopting energy-efficient practices and investing in smart technology to monitor and control energy use. Additionally, we saved a lot by streamlining procurement processes and negotiating better deals with suppliers. These collaborative efforts have bolstered Cardata’s financial resilience and supported sustainable growth.

Fixed costs, like rent, utilities, and professional services, present unique challenges in the current economic landscape. We have adopted several innovative strategies to manage these expenses while maintaining profitability and board-mandated growth.

With rent and lease payments, the shift towards remote work has forced us to reevaluate our office space requirements. By renegotiating lease terms and embracing flexible work arrangements, we’ve been able to optimize the amount we’re spending on our commercial space without compromising our day to day operations. This shift has not only reduced costs for us but also increased employee satisfaction and productivity –– which is never a bad thing.

The rise in costs has made sustainable and efficient operations necessary. To this end we have, for example, curbed travel expenses, to both help reduce costs and reduce our carbon footprint. We have invested in remote work strategies to ensure we facilitate the same engagement virtually when choosing to forego in person meetings that used to require travel.

Managing professional service relationships also requires careful attention to cost-efficiency and alignment with business KPIs. Through careful vendor vetting and streamlined spending, we have maintained high-quality outcomes while also protecting our bottom line. This approach has helped us manage our legal fees, consulting services, and marketing expenses.

The role of predictive analytics

Predictive analytics is more useful than ever as a tool for financial executives. By leveraging data and advanced analytics, we can foresee changes in consumer spending and buying habits and adjust our strategies accordingly. This proactive approach enables us to stay ahead of market trends and make informed decisions that drive profitability.

For instance, our marketing team uses data-driven insights to optimize marketing budgets and maximize return on investment (ROI). By shifting resources towards online platforms and utilizing digital tools, our marketing team has achieved consistent and improved ROIs. This targeted approach ensures that our marketing efforts resonate with our target audiences, supports our sales goals, and keeps our costs in check.

Proactive measures for adapting cost management

To navigate our changing economic realities, finance execs must adopt dynamic and flexible approaches. Here are some proactive measures I would recommend:

Scenario planning

Continuously run various scenarios and develop contingency plans to ensure financial stability during economic fluctuations.

Cross-departmental collaboration

Foster transparency and open communication between departments to align strategies and optimize costs holistically. In other words: no more siloed operations or gatekeeping.

Leveraging tech

Invest in technology and predictive analytics to understand market trends and consumer behavior, thereby enabling informed decision-making.

Outsourcing non-core functions

Consider outsourcing functions that are core to the business, like fleet management, to reduce fixed costs and increase operational flexibility.

Performance-based compensation

Implement performance-based compensation structures to motivate employees while maintaining fiscal responsibility.

Fair reimbursement

Cardata provides accurate and fair reimbursements through our software to our customers. Vehicle reimbursements are based on real local costs, protecting employee and company budgets.

Sustainability initiatives

Adopt energy-efficient practices and sustainability initiatives to curb utility costs and enhance your corporate reputation.


As a finance executive, it’s my responsibility to leverage my expertise and collaborate across departments to find the best ways to save the business money while simultaneously dodging economic impacts and driving sustainable growth. At Cardata, our focus on efficiencies and cross-collaboration has allowed us to maintain financial stability and, frankly, thrive amidst recent economic turbulence.

By embracing innovative solutions, like scenario planning and predictive analytics, we have optimized costs and enhanced operational efficiency. As we continue to traverse the ever-changing economic landscape, our commitment to proactive cost management and strategic foresight will remain the cornerstone of our success.

About Cardata

Cardata is a leading vehicle reimbursement program partner and a pioneer in the MaaS (mobility as a service) and SaaS (software as a service) spaces. We are committed to delivering innovative solutions that streamline vehicle expense management and optimize reimbursement processes. With a strong commitment to customer success and app/product excellence, Cardata empowers organizations to unlock cost savings and enhance operational efficiency.


[1] Inflation looks like it’s here to stay | Morning Brew | 

[2] 16 Biggest Accounting Challenges and Solution in 2024 | Netsuite | 

[3] Finance Key Issues: What’s Top of Mind for Executives in 2023 | Hackett Group | 

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