Corporate business cards are changing the landscape of business spending.
Traditionally, businesses have had little control and visibility of where company expenses came from. In turn, employees have had to jump through admin hoops to get their jobs done and their personal funds reimbursed.
This is because banks have been slow to adapt to a new reality where businesses spend most of their money online and where most employees are incurring costs for the business. And why many companies still only give a handful of cards to their employees.
These days, businesses can choose to have unlimited company cards, enabling employees to spend on behalf of their business, while retaining absolute control of company spending.
Corporate credit cards backed by finance software
Corporate credit cards backed by software trace every payment and associates it with the card owner. They only let the payment go through if the cost is within the limits and rules set by the finance team.
Employees, on the other hand, have visibility of their remaining budget, and can instantly request funds for out-of-policy situations.
How corporate credit cards are benefiting growing businesses
Corporate credit cards, when supported by user-friendly software puts finance teams in control of spending, letting the business move faster resulting in happier employees.
Here are some of the main benefits from investing in expense management software:
Better management of business spending
Businesses need to remain in control of their spending in order to be balanced and healthy – so that they can put weight behind important decisions and grow.
Therefore, the more control the finance team can exert over outgoings, the better decisions will be made and the better financial health.
Corporate Visa cards backed up by finance software enable finance controllers and line managers to set limits for their teams, therefore controlling spending before it’s happened. Besides limits, admins of the cards can set rules and contexts in which funds can be used.
Rules can be based on locations, budgets, merchants, spend categories or days and times when cards can be used. The increased granular-level control on cards allows finance leaders to run a fully digital expense policy enforced on every payment: the cards recognize unauthorized spending on every transaction and prevent usage that doesn’t comply with the company policy.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of budget limits. Even if the finance team still signs off every budget in the company, human error can lead to overspending but not when those limits are built onto the credit card itself.
Approvals can follow complex sequences, as needed to replicate your internal sign-off process. For example, you might allow small expenses without approval, but require approval from line management for a medium expense, and finance approval from a large one.
Finally – if an employee has left, cards can be frozen in one click too.
The new cards empower finance teams to implement spending rules directly on company cards based on locations, budgets, merchants, spend categories or days and times when cards can be used. The increased granular-level control on cards enables finance leaders to run a fully digital spending policy enforced on every payment in real-time. The NextGen cards recognize unauthorized spend on every swipe and prohibit usage that doesn’t comply with the company spend policy.
Smart expense management software enables businesses to issue physical and virtual cards with one click. This way, if a project needs a separate budget, the project manager can get started within minutes.
Teams with their own cards will move faster. They don’t have to wait anymore for someone to lend them their cards – and be at hand for increasingly popular two-factor authentication codes.
Because the hassle is being taken away, teams might find themselves more encouraged to complete projects that involve spending money. From little gestures like organising dinner for clients to important advertising campaigns, things will happen quicker and more often without obstacles on the way.
Given employees business cards with their budget empowers them to spend it without delays, in other words, to do their job.
With corporate credit cards issued per team and project, they can pay for online subscriptions, bills and even team entertainment, with reassuring visibility of what they’ve spent so far, and what is left.
In addition, when employees are issued their individual cards, they don’t have to use their personal funds anymore, nor submit a claim – most people’s idea of a bad day at work. Instead, they get high-value work done, which gives them a sense of achievement.
This makes employees happier – they get more done, have less admin to do and don’t need to use their own personal funds.
No downsides to international corporate travel
There are many upsides for your employees to travel internationally: travelling with expenses covered, visiting oversees and building rapport with colleagues around the world.
But if there is one clear downside, it’s this: claiming all expenses when they’re finally back in the office.
Employees all over the world fear the moment they have to empty their wallets of crumpled expense receipts from a wide range of dates and locations. They also dread the time-consuming process of scanning / photographing every receipt and sending it somewhere they can use it, alongside copious data entry.
Instead, they can use their own cards and photograph receipts, with the software automatically reading and inputting all the details.
Helping finance teams automate manual labour
Finance teams using expense management software can replace 80% of manual finance processes with automation.
Expense management software saves time with automated receipt matching and invoice categorisation against the correct cost centre and VAT rates. This way, financial leaders can use their time to grow the business, instead of low-value admin.
These are just some of the ways in which corporate credit cards backed up with finance software are changing the way businesses manage spending.
This should be good news to employees all over the world, who can enjoy the freedom of not having to use their own money, or follow long winded expense policies. This means they can get on with performing to their highest level at work – with no expense distractions.