Treasury Edge

Emotions run high when company cards and spending controls are discussed… eek

Yes, we like to think that our employees will treat their company card with respect. However, we know the reality is very far from that. One look at the costs going through it confirms that without rules and controls in place, SOME people will always take advantage. 

I heard of a recent example of an employee treating themselves to a new iPad on their company card!! When they got caught they claimed it was an innocent error.. Do they expect anyone to believe that? 

So, how can you put a good process which gives employees some freedom but within the realm of good controls and monitoring?


1. Clarity and Consistency

Be detailed on these key areas: 

  1. Eligibility for company cards 
  2. Spending limits
  3. Permissible expenses
  4. Reimbursement procedures. 

And stick to them! Being consistent in how to treat all of your employees, even the CEO, will set an example. People respect those who follow their own rules. 

2. Select the Right Provider

Choosing the right card provider is crucial. Look for providers offering customisable solutions tailored to your company’s needs. Consider factors like fees, rewards programs, reporting capabilities, and customer service. Conduct thorough research and seek recommendations from industry peers. If the cards are hard to maintain, it is less likely that they will be. 

3. Educate Employees

Education is fundamental to program success. The people need to understand the “why” behind the polices. Provide quality training on card usage policies, I would make it fun if you can. Company card policies aren’t the most exciting of topics but you need your colleagues to be onboard with the changes. 

Empower employees to make informed decisions while adhering to company guidelines. Regular training sessions and resources can reinforce understanding and foster responsible spending habits.

4. Implement Spending Controls

Implement spending controls to prevent unauthorised purchases and manage expenses effectively. Set individual and departmental spending limits aligned with budgetary constraints. Utilise features such as real-time alerts and transaction monitoring to detect suspicious activities promptly.

5. Utilise Technology

Leverage technology to streamline administrative tasks and connect to your ERP and systems, to make life as easy as possible for the finance team. Automation reduces manual errors, expedites reconciliation, and provides actionable insights to aid decision-making.

6. Monitor and Analyse Spending

Regularly monitor and analyse spending to identify trends, anomalies, and cost-saving opportunities. Utilise reporting tools to track expenses, allocate costs, and assess compliance with company policies. 

7. Foster Accountability

Encourage accountability at all levels of the organisation. Hold employees accountable for their spending behaviours and adherence to company policies. Implement an approval process for expenses exceeding predefined thresholds. Transparent accountability cultivates a culture of fiscal responsibility and trust.

Wrap Up 

To sum up, we all know company card management can be a minefield, however clear guidelines and policies can be the difference between a wildly out of control cost base, to a respected and controlled programme which gives employees some autonomy to make decisions but within the boundaries of the policy. 

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