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How Can We Improve Our Corporate Card Process?

We're a technology company and currently have 2 corporate cards in our office. The head of infrastructure has a card for recurring software costs and other miscellaneous office purchases. Our office manager has another card for one-off expenses and travel costs. However, several people make purchases using the card outside of these two individuals. The office manager currently collects all the receipts and inputs the necessary accounting information into Excel for the staff accountant to upload into our accounting software, NetSuite. The process is unbearably tedious for the office manager (takes days to chase receipts), who records the transactions and obtains receipts on a monthly basis. The current process slows down our monthly close timeline significantly. How can we improve this process, and what software is out there to ease the burden of collecting receipts from various department heads for items purchased on corporate cards? Thanks a lot in advance for any responses!!

Answers

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

Simple answer........ Disallow the "several people" to make purchases using the card/s. All credit card transactions should originate from the 2 who currently has them. If they need a separate card, let them justify it and be accountable for it.

I don't think the "several people" are outside the office as they will require physical possession of a card in order to transact. I assume they do this (the purchasing) online.

Establish purchase/requisition process/policies.

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

Paying for goods and services with cards is one slice of the accounts payable efficiency pie. Take a look at this whitepaper:

"Accounts Payable Research Study"
https://www.proformative.com/whitepapers/accounts-payable-research-study

A good focus on the efficiency of payment processes and issues.

Best... Sarah

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

I, as I've stated before (and both Emerson and I have strong differing opinions on this) dislike having corporate credit cards.

Case in point "others outside the 2 authorized people" are using the card. This creates control issues as a minimum and you can extrapolate the other issues.

I have lived through trusted employees "using the card for personal expenses" and then telling me or forgetting and immediately telling me when asked as I go through the AMEX statement.

Topic Expert
Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

Anon
Can I suggest you look at getting Nexonia expense mgmt software and see how it:
-can download all card activity
-make it easy to report each expense as it is incurred
-avoid creating an Excel expense report
-integrate into your accounting system
-improve visibility into spend
-save hours of time

Contact me for an intro to the company for a demo. The software is surprisingly low cost and very high value. Many of our clients use it.

Best regards

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

For small business, credit cards are a simple tool to help deal with daily purchases that don't fall into a vendor management relationship. Credit cards are not evil and if controlled well, they work well.

If you are using NetSuite, then you might want to take a look at Concur's expense tracking system. I know a rep if you contact me directly I can supply the contact information.

Larger banking institutions usually have an expense tracking system that you can subscribe to for your credit card activity. I know that Wells Fargo has a great program for expense tracking, I'm sure the others do also.

One of the major problems with executive use of the cards is their lack of patience in reporting the expense receipts and expense reports. Your office manager could be performing the "credit card wrangler" function, but if you can add a system such as Concur or one provided by your bank, it would help you to account for the charges more accurately and more timely.

Best.

Ann Truitt
Title: Treasurer
Company: Golden Living
( Treasurer, Golden Living) |

I would agree that a case should be made to provide cards to the other employees. An even more compelling reason to do this is do guarantee the issuing bank will work with you in the event of fraud. If the card is being used by someone else than to whom the card was issued and fraud occurs, you will have a difficult case of having the issuing bank reimbursing you the funds.
We have over 1000 Procurement cards. Our program is with Bank of America. They also have a free tool that assists with reconciliation and even allows proxy reconciliation. So, in your case, you could issue the other individual cards, but with proxy reconciliation, your office manager could upload the receipts and allocate the charges to the right g/l coding for all the cards in that office. Then, at the end of the month (or more frequently if you desired) those transactions are swept into your a/p system and posted automatically. No re-keying!

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

The bank usually offers several tools. I pull spreadsheets of charges and also import files that I use for reconciliations. Some banks and accounting software can even be linked so that it reconciles automatically. Unfortunately, there is no software out there that will make people remember to collect and turn in their receipts. At the minimum, make the issuance of cards on an as-needed basis. In this case, access to the card should be limited. It's also not a bad idea to have people pay for things on their own cards and then file expense reports later for reimbursement.

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

"It's also not a bad idea to have people pay for things on their own cards and then file expense reports later for reimbursement."

I reiterate my dislike for this option and think it is a bad practice. What started as an accommodation by the employee has now become a requirement/policy.

As a policy, you can't oblige/require employees to use their own resources (in this case, credit card or credit limit) for company convenience. If employees want to use their credit, it should be on their OWN volition or as an infrequent accommodation by the employee for the company and not because the company requires them to.

If the company (as an option) pays a fee for the use of their card/limit...sure! Even with this option, the employee should have the ability to opt in or out.

And yes, this is what Wayne was referring to with regards to the difference in opinion.

Vik Agrawal
Title: President & Co-Founder
Company: ExpensePath, Inc.
(President & Co-Founder, ExpensePath, Inc.) |

We've heard this pain - it's a very specific use case. I think what you want is a system that will allow you to pull in the card data centrally but very easily allow for the actual employees who had the charges provide the necessary details. And then Finance can pull the data automatically into NetSuite. Happy to discuss ways to automate that.

Alan Goldberg
Title: Principal
Company: Triplet Advisory Services
(Principal, Triplet Advisory Services) |

Cards should never be shared! If individual is frequent purchaser, should have own card. If several people need a card for low dollar, high volume purchases, then look at justification implementing a P Card program with a bank provider with prudent, automated spending controls. These come with expense reconciliation and reporting platforms. Transactions are uploaded to GL. Cards can be disabled for employees that don't reconcile or submit receipts based on your card use policy.

Kirstin Smith
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: NextSpace
LinkedIn Profile
(Accounting Manager, NextSpace) |

We use Expensify and find it easy and convenient. Receipts can be photographed on a smart phone and linked and online receipts can be uploaded creating a monthly report for each card with receipts attached. Its simple and free with no bells or whistles, but it does the trick. And any method of receipt capture and review keeps people accountable.

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