Companies incur a wide variety of expenses, but poor office expense card management often means that expenditure is higher than it needs to be. As a result, businesses could be inadvertently reducing their profitability and curtailing their success. With effective office expense card management, however, dealing with your company’s expenditure is easier than ever.
In this article, we examine what office expense card management is and take a look at how you can adapt your in-house processes to streamline and enhance your existing expense card management strategies.
What Is Office Expense Card Management?
Business expense cards are a popular and effective way for companies to enable employees to make business-related transactions and ‘office expense card management’ simply refers to the methods used to facilitate, monitor and report these outgoings.
Issuing expense cards to authorised employees can be a highly efficient way to enable staff to use company funds, but the right office expense card management processes can maximise in-house efficiency and deliver even greater gains.
How to Elevate Your Office Expense Card Management
Whether you’re thinking of introducing business expense cards or you want to optimise your existing office expense card management protocols, take a look at our top tips now:
1. Ensure All Cards Are Linked to a Single Account
Companies often have more than one bank account but linking all employee expense cards to a single account can simplify office expense card management. When expense cards are tied to a single account, centralised reporting allows you to view every transaction in a single location. What’s more – you can export data as required, without the need to source data from multiple accounts or platforms.
2. Educate Your Employees
While the right tools can transform office expense card management, it’s important to educate your teams about what expenses are ‘allowable’ and when it’s appropriate to use their expense card. This prevents non-business-related expenditure being deducted from company accounts and avoids businesses having to seek reimbursement from their employees.
Introducing a business expenses policy ensures that employees have clear guidelines about how an expense card can be used and protects your business funds from misuse or misappropriation.
3. Set Spending Limits
One of the easiest ways to regulate company expenditure is to set spending limits for expense cards. This prevents employees from overusing company funds and ensures that excess spending is always flagged.
However, an employee’s role will affect how often they need to use company funds and how much they need to spend. Due to this, it’s important that you’re able to set individual spending limits for each card. By doing so, you can meet the needs of your employees and the business while retaining sufficient control of your company’s finances.
4. Issue Virtual Cards
While physical expense cards can be a great option, many companies are choosing to issue virtual expense cards instead or in conjunction with physical cards. If a physical expense card is lost or stolen, it puts your company’s funds at risk, particularly if the cardholder doesn’t realise the card is missing straightaway. Although setting spending limits can help to mitigate the potential loss, reporting the card as lost and getting it reissued can be an unnecessary use of your time.
With virtual cards, however, there are no concerns about it being lost or stolen, which enhances the security of your company’s assets. What’s more – virtual cards can be used for online transactions and in-store contactless payments, so there is plenty of scope for employees to facilitate necessary business-related spending with virtual expense cards.
5. Make Sure Cards Can Be Used Globally
Travel expenses are one of the most common types of employee business expenditure. If a member of your team is travelling to a client site, for example, the company is likely to fund the cost of the trip, including accommodation (if required).
Business trips may involve regional, national or international travel, so it’s important that expense cards can be used worldwide. If an employee’s card can only be used in the UK, for example, an alternative method of expense management will need to be used when the team members travels abroad for business purposes. As you might expect, this adds unnecessary complexity to office expense card management and limits the efficacy of your expense management strategy.
In contrast, expense cards that can be used worldwide ensure that global expenditure can be easily monitored, accounted for and reported.
6. Enable Multicurrency Transactions
An increasing number of businesses now operate globally thanks to technological innovations. From small start-ups to sprawling enterprises, there are many ways you can serve a global client base, whatever industry you’re operating in.
Of course, operating globally means that you’re likely to send and receive funds in more than one currency. It’s essential, therefore, that you have access to a multicurrency account that facilitates transactions in a range of currencies. Similarly, it’s important that employees are able to make multicurrency transfers so that the company derives maximum benefit from the account’s multicurrency functionality.
By choosing multicurrency expense cards, you can reduce the costs associated with international transfers, complete transactions more quickly and secure more favourable exchange rates. As you empower your employees to realise these benefits via multicurrency expense cards, your company reaps the rewards.
7. Review Expenditure Regularly
Issuing employee expense cards via a single company account gives you the ability to review transactions in a centralised location and in real-time – so be sure to make the most of it!
Reviewing transactions on a regular basis will enable you to identify any misuse of the card or any breaches of your expenses policy. If an employee has misunderstood what constitutes an ‘allowable expense’, for example, this can be quickly resolved if you’re reviewing company expenditure on a regular basis.
Optimise Office Expense Card Management with PayAlly
Our financial ecosystem is designed to help you achieve your commercial objectives, which is why we offer a suite of tools to assist with office expense card management. To learn more, get in touch with our expert team now.