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Corporate Credit Cards - Separating Business Purchases From T&E

Hi - I know there are several threads regarding this topic. Currently, we have ~7 individuals (out of ~40) with business credit cards. The individuals use these cards for both business purposes & for T&E. For example, someone may make a purchase for office supplies but also book a flight on the card. Does anyone have recommendations for separating these since it's really difficult to manage all of the receipts/documentation when they are bundled together. We're not at a place yet where we can get a P-card and the idea of another card solely for business expenses (recurring subscriptions like gmail, box, supplies, food, etc) crossed my mind, but ultimately don't want the accounting dept having to run around making purchases on behalf of others... Thanks!


Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

Are all the receipts on the same bill?

If so, why use an SaaS based service such as Expensify, Concur, ExpensePath or other program. It should make it easier.

(Agent) |


We use Abacus, but my fear is the volume will be too much to handle for accounting when the individual completes the expense report at the end of the month. Right now, we have Amex connected to our QB so accounting sees the expenses in QB as soon as they hit...but if there are supplies, subscriptions, etc. that need to be allocated over months or prepaid, it will be really messy getting these all complete by the time the employee does the report.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

Many of these products have API's into accounting systems, so once you approve the expense report, you can import that report, have an a/p setup for your employee and have all the individual items expensed (or pre-paid or whatever).

You need to setup the proper policies, procedures and systems to make it as painless as possible.

Will it be perfect, I doubt it, but it will be an immense improvement in both time and accuracy.

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  • Sarah Jackson
    Title: Associate Editor
    Company: Proformative
    (Associate Editor, Proformative) |

    Proformative has a free white paper wiith some interesting info on travel & expense reporting, controls and processes:

    "2016 Expense Management Trends"

    Best... Sarah

    Title: CFO
    Company: C-Suite Services
    LinkedIn Profile
    (CFO, C-Suite Services) |

    You are in search of a solution for a non-existent problem or has LITTLE or negligible effect. These are your words..."someone MAY (emphasis mine) make a purchase for office supplies"

    If your purchasing (office supplies) system is in place, there would be very minimal usage of the credit cards for office supplies (as they can requisition while in the office.). While it is true that the credit cards can be used to buy office supplies, it will be for emergency purposes only and of immaterial value.

    Just send out a memo that office supplies should be requisitioned in the office and credit cards should be limited to T&E....if that is what you want.

    If you are concerned with finance manhours, let the "cardholders" (or their assistants) do the itemization. They need to do it anyways....where to charge and all that stuff.

    Ross Anderson, CPA, MBA
    Title: Controller
    Company: TFS Capital
    (Controller, TFS Capital) |

    I see no problem in mixing the cards. It helps to have one person doing all the office supplies purchases, such as a secretary or assistant.

    Annette Eggert
    Title: Director of Finance
    Company: Valmont Industries, Inc.
    (Director of Finance, Valmont Industries, Inc.) |

    I agree with Emerson's comment about making sure you have a policy in place. Expenses should be approved before a purchase is transacted and credit cards make this control more difficult to manage. I know that if you are using American Express, they can block retail purchases or limit dollars spent on retail purchases by individual cardholder. We allowed our cards to have a small retail spend just in case the employee needed to purchase a small item while traveling.

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