Companies of all sizes face a decision when it comes to how reimbursements will be handled, as well as business expense reporting in general. This decision is whether or not to offer corporate credit cards to employees.

What are the pros and cons? What are deciding factors that can help a business finance team determine if it’s right for their organization to have employees use a corporate card for expenses?

The following are some things to keep in mind as you make a decision.

Fraud

One of the biggest potential negatives of giving corporate cards to employees is the risk of fraud it creates. It’s important that if employees are given corporate cards, there are firm policies in place dictating how they’re used, and also that a sense of trust is present.

If an employee starts putting personal charges on a corporate card, it may fly under the radar without a good expense management system, and the costs can add up quickly. There are options with a lot of corporate cards to set limits and spending maximums, but still, even purchases that may seem small or insignificant can add up.

It may also be tempting for employees not necessarily to be fraudulent, but more willing to spend when they know they’re using a corporate credit card. An employee may be more likely to have a luxurious client lunch as an example, so this is something to be aware of.

Again, many of the biggest issues associated with the use of corporate cards can be remedied by setting limits and guidelines, and the use of a good expense management system.

Also important with corporate cards is training employees on how to protect themselves against theft, and what to do if a card is stolen.

Real-Time Information

A benefit of giving corporate cards to employees is often the ability to have real-time information as a CFO or part of the finance team. Rather than seeing expenses well after an employee files a report, it’s easier to have more real-time visibility into spending, which can happen with the use of corporate cards.

Most business credit cards come with tools that allow for monitoring and tracking spending as it happens, and the finance team doesn’t have to wait until it’s too late to see spending.

Overall, when you pair a corporate card with an expense management system, it’s much easier to analyze spending and see what’s going where. This is good for making strategic and numbers-based decisions.

Card Benefits

One of the primary reasons a lot of companies do opt to go the corporate card route is because of the benefits that are associated with the use of many of these cards. The company can accumulate benefits and points, and it just makes good business sense.

Finally, issuing a corporate card can be beneficial because it can cut down on the amount of time and work that goes into processing expenses and spending. Expense management software makes this process even more efficient, and ultimately a company can save a lot of money and improve productivity significantly if they’re pairing the use of corporate cards with modern expense management technology.

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