Corporate credit cards can make life so much more convenient when you frequently travel for business. No longer do you have to live with inflated credit card balances at the end of the month as you wait for your reimbursement to arrive — everything is streamlined straight to the company.
But company credit cards can be challenging, too. How many times have you faced the hassle of making two transactions at a store, hotel or restaurant because some of the expenses are personal and some are corporate? And how many times have you completely lost track of documentation for an expense, putting you in the accounting department’s crosshairs?
Yes, company credit cards are both a blessing and a curse. Here are a few tips for taming your card, allowing you to enjoy the many benefits with fewer of the disadvantages.
Tip No. 1: Take Advantage of Trainings
Most companies bend over backward to ensure their team members know how to use corporate credit cards appropriately. You’re on the road and you’re definitely busy. But, when your company offers corporate credit card trainings and seminars, take advantage of them.
Why? Because attending just one training can save you lots of time, effort and energy down the road. It’s during these trainings where you develop a firm understanding of expectations, spending limits, policies and more.
And you might discover during a training that you’ve been documenting things that don’t need documenting. For example, many companies don’t require receipts for meals under a certain amount. That might mean fewer receipts to keep up with and enter when it comes to reimbursement time.
Tip No. 2: Take Advantage of Tools
Expense automation is becoming more and more prevalent at companies large and small, with Concur and Deem being just two popular solutions companies are now using. Automation saves both the traveler and the travel manager time. Does your company have expense automation tools in place? If so, are you using them?
Perhaps the best part of expense automation systems is how easy they make it to keep up with receipts. For example, most expense automation systems include mobile apps. Simply snap a photo of your receipt, upload it through the expenses portal, and be done with lugging around little pieces of paper for weeks on end.
Also, many expense automation systems help you track and monitor spending. If you’re working within a travel budget or striving to remain within a set limit on certain trips, you can easily track where your spending stands — and you can even receive alerts when you draw close to your limits.
Of course, you can only access the benefits of expense automation if you’re using the tools provided by your company. Get to know what’s available, and start using these tools. They can make your life as a business traveler far easier.
Tip No. 3: Take Care of it as Your Own
A corporate credit card should be cared for and treated like one of your own. Carry it in your purse or in your wallet alongside other cards to ensure that you never misplace it. It’s common for travelers to put corporate credit cards in unusual places. After all, they aren’t personal, everyday cards. But do your best to have a dedicated place for your corporate card in order to keep it as secure as possible.
Also, resist the temptation to write down your corporate card details or to store them in an unencrypted manner. Your company should have this information stored in a way that protects the data. Save your card details in your expense automation app or in your online booking tool — vendors make sure that these portals are fully encrypted and fully safe for storing sensitive data. But writing down your card information or storing anywhere that’s not encrypted is just inviting something bad to happen — and the accompanying headache you’ll experience if your card number is compromised.
Tip No. 4: Take Time to Get to Know the Controller
Your company most likely has a designated controller who oversees all corporate credit card usage. Get to know this controller, and make sure he or she knows that you want to do everything possible to remain in compliance.
How is this helpful to the business traveler? Developing a strong relationship with the controller gives you an avenue for providing constructive criticism and feedback. For example, if you find that certain spending limits are near impossible to remain under, you have an existing relationship and a clear channel for passing that information up the chain.
Having a strong relationship with the controller also gives you an easy way to get answers to any questions you might have, and it also might give you some leniency should you go over limits or misplace your corporate card.
Does Your Company Have the Right Tools and Trainings in Place?
Not every company has secured the right tools and created the right trainings to help business travelers with corporate credit card usage. At JTB Business Travel, we help organization large and small create and implement tools and trainings that maximize the corporate travel experience.
Behind every service we provide and recommendation we make is a common-sense approach to business travel. We believe that all organizations can enjoy a strong return on their investments in business travel while also creating positive travel experiences for their team members.
Contact us today to learn more about how our common-sense approach to business travel