Company card policy guidelines
Most companies find that a company credit, debit or prepaid card saves them time and energy, saving them the hassle of petty cash or reimbursements, and offering improved payment protection. However, some managers are concerned about how employees will use the card.
Writing and implementing a company card policy is a great way to manage employee spending across the organisation, ensuring that employees know how to spend the company’s finances responsibly, and in the right way. But what should be included in an effective company card policy?
This guide from Volopa provides key tips and guidelines for business owners and management on how to develop an effective policy for your business, applicable to both credit, debit and prepaid cards. From establishing eligibility criteria, to setting up procedures for filing expenses, this blog will provide you with the essential steps needed to create a company card policy that is easy for the people within your organisation to follow.
What is a corporate card policy?
As part of any organisation’s key accounting policies, a corporate card policy is an important document that outlines the terms, conditions and restrictions related to the use of company cards. It helps keep employees accountable for their spending and ensures compliance with company rules, as well as relevant laws and regulations.
A company card policy typically includes the following information:
- Who is authorised to receive a company card
- How the card can be be used
- What types of purchases are allowed
- Maximum spending limits
- When personal expenses may be charged
- Information about how expenses should be reported
- Who is responsible for repaying any charges made on the card
- Penalties for inappropriate or unauthorised use.
By having a clear corporate card policy in place, companies can ensure that their employees understand expectations related to using company-issued cards and can help reduce financial risks associated with improper use of funds.
Company card policy best practices
Providing guidelines on how employees should use company cards and when they can access funds is hugely important. A policy should include a brief, explaining the purpose of the document as well as the scope across the business.
Here are recommendations for your company card policy, including sections that can help ensure it is effective in its goal of protecting both the organisation and its employees.
Who is eligible for a company card?
One of the first points any company card policy should address first is card eligibility. Who in the organisation will be eligible for a company card?
The primary use of a company card is for making purchases on behalf of the business, so usually only employees in positions where they incur expenses for their role are issued with cards. Roles like this include:
- Sales representatives
- HR Professionals
Most organisations like to remind staff that having access to a company card isn’t just about spending. It’s about being financially responsible whilst being entrusted to represent the business in a professional manner.
It’s important that all employees who are issued a company card understand their role in ensuring proper use of the funds they’re granted access to. The primary responsibilities of a cardholder include understanding and adhering to spending limits, documenting each purchase made with their card, and only using it for approved business expenses.
Corporate cardholders should also closely monitor the company card policy, keeping an eye out for any updates or changes that impact how the cards can be used. When the policy is updated, changes should be communicated internally.
A company card policy should clearly state how much is permitted to be spent on business cards within a certain time period – usually a month. As well as this, the policy should communicate how much can be spent in one transaction, as well as what qualifies as a business expense.
Giving as much information as possible on spending limits and acceptable business expenses is important to prevent employees misspending or misappropriating company funds. Find out more about how to prevent expense fraud.
Reporting company card expenses
A good company card policy will establish clear guidelines on how employees must track these expenses and ensure that all purchases are properly documented, audited and tracked to avoid any discrepancies or misuses in funds. This allows them to keep track of where the money is going, who is spending it and why they are spending it.
Usually, employees are asked to report expenses made on the company card to the finance department within a certain period of time following the transaction. However, if your business has its own expense management system or accounting software, cardholders could directly record their expenses here if given access. It is common for cardholders to write and submit monthly card transaction reports to senior staff and finance teams.
Company card misuse
The misuse of company cards can be the result of an honest mistake, or an example of something more malicious such as expense fraud. Regardless, a strong company card policy can reduce the risk of accidental misspending, unauthorised purchases and other fraudulent activities that could severely impact a business’ bottom line.
The policy should clearly outline exactly how funds are to be used, how much can be spent, and how transactions should be recorded. Additionally, the consequences of violating the policy should also be detailed in the document. If an employee is found to be charging personal expenses to company cards, they will be obliged to repay the amount. If they are found to repeat this offence, they may be subject to disciplinary action and dismissal.
It is best practice to include a section within your company card policy that discusses what should happen in the case of an erroneous charge to the company card. It is most often the responsibility of the cardholder to dispute any charges that they deem to be incorrect. With prepaid cards, the chance of disputes is reduced as employees can only spend what is loaded onto their card ahead of the transaction.
Lost or stolen cards
A good company card policy can help prevent losses from lost or stolen cards by detailing the procedure to be followed in the event that a card goes missing. Cardholders should make it an absolute priority to contact the card issuer to freeze any lost or stolen cards. This will minimise the risk of the business losing any money. Senior members of staff should also be informed in the event of a lost card.
Company card policies usually include a section which states the business’ right to freeze or cancel company cards at any time. This allows the organisation to remain in control of their finances and make employees aware of the action that will be taken when necessary.
Control your spending with prepaid business cards from Volopa
Creating a company card policy and managing card spending across your business can be a complex and stressful task. Luckily, Volopa offers an expense management solution to help you easily track and manage the spending of all cardholders within your organisation.
With our prepaid business cards and payments platform, you can control your company and team spending in one place. Receive notifications of transactions and keep a record of all receipts for each purchase made. You can fund our cards and view the balances at all times, as well as freeze any cards at the press of a button.
Our expense management software integrates seamlessly with accounting systems such as Xero and Quickbooks. This streamlines the process of collating expense reports and inputting them into separate software, reducing administrative work and saving you lots of time.
If you are interested in Volopa’s prepaid business cards, contact our team of expense management experts and transform how you control company card spending within your organisation today!
Find out more about what Volopa can do for you