How to keep company credit card spending under control

Giving employees access to a company credit card demonstrates trust and makes company spending easier but company credit cards are open to abuse, which can cost companies significantly. However, the benefits of giving employees a company credit card normally outweigh the risks of abuse, as long as the company takes a few simple steps to protect itself, according to Concur.

Matt Goss, managing director, ANZ, Concur, said, “Companies provide a company credit card to their employees to make business related spending easier. But some employees take advantage of this business perk. It’s important to keep a tight check on company credit card spend or the business could see its cash flow suffer.”

Concur has identified eight ways companies can keep their corporate credit card under control:

1.  Set expectations around what is expected of employees with credit cards, including the types of expenses they can occur, spending limits, and any proof of purchase they need to provide with each item.

2.  Limit liabilities through spending limits for certain items like hotel rooms, and establish overall spending caps to limit the business’s liabilities. These limits should be reviewed regularly to ensure they’re still reasonable and not being exploited.

3.  Be picky about who gets a company credit card and limit cards to essential users. Make sure those users are aware of their responsibilities and don’t forget to cancel cards when employees leave the company.

4.  Monitor all spending regardless of the cardholder’s position in the company. Look for items bought for personal use or items that users may then try to reclaim via the usual expenses reimbursement process again, sometimes referred to as double-dipping.

5.  Store and record details of all credit cards and their holders securely with encryption. Encourage users to look after the card as if it were their own and make sure they know how to report loss or theft.

6.  Insist on receipts, even if they’re not required for expense reclaim. It helps maintain visibility and accountability.

7.  Set alerts so the credit card provider can notify the finance team of any suspicious activity or attempts to use the card outside of its intended purpose.

8.  Require supervisors or approving managers to accept every credit card statement from employees on their teams, then appoint a designated controller who is responsible for enforcing all of these policies.

Matt Goss said, “Company credit cards make it easier for employees to do their jobs and can help improve visibility into expenditure, so they’re a great tool for companies. And, by taking these eight steps, organisations can make it difficult for employees to abuse the system, making credit cards a safer option.”