Managing Per Diem Workers for Clean Energy

Hiring Contractor

Tips For Hiring Per Diem Workers

Hiring per diem workers is often the norm in companies that install and service solar energy, wind turbines , natural gas and other forms of clean energy. However, contracting as-needed workers can also lead to some challenges – a big one being expenses. These employees need a way to pay for the work items they need when they are out in the field, but asking them to pay out of pocket and submit receipts for reimbursement can be a financial burden.

Financial leaders often leverage an expense management system and prepaid or corporate credit cards to provide employees with a way to purchase when they are working at a job site. But these managers  need to be judicious about how they issue cards, and put the right policy in place before distributing them. Here’s a few ways you can ensure both the business and its workforce get the most value, while avoiding fraudulent card use.

1: Only Issue Cards When Necessary

Not everyone handles credit responsibly. Limiting cards to employees who frequently make purchases, such as field technicians or engineers, will reduce the pool of people who may potentially misuse a card. It’s not recommended to hand a credit card to every employee at your business.

2: Set Spending Rules

Many cards will allow a company to limit how much workers can charge for certain purchase categories, such as gas stations. These limits offer an easy way to keep the team’s spending in check. 

Set spending limits to common expenses that occur in the field in your industry. For example, to cover supplies unexpectedly needed for a job, a delivery driver might be well situated with a $200 limit, while a foreman at a large construction site would likely need a higher limit to cover supplies and other expenses.

Learn more about PEX Solutions for Clean Energy, including expense management for remote field workers in the solar industry.

3: Establish an Approval Process

Assign someone to approve all significant charges in advance to help keep employees’ spending within limits. This could help you find potential efficiencies, such as the company already having the parts a field service technician needs, or that there is a cheaper place to buy the part than the one your tech is planning to use.

If you are going to require advance approvals, the policy must be practical. Though you might want to have a manager sign off on charges for major pieces of equipment or parts, asking your team to get the okay to buy gas with their card could slow everyone down unnecessarily. This is another reason why spend rules are important.

4: Require Receipts

It will be harder for field service employees to abuse a corporate card if they must provide receipts for each purchase. With an expense management platform, receipts can easily be uploaded via a mobile app, eliminating the need to submit a physical expense report.

5: Adopt an Expense Management Platform

Prepaid cards can eliminate both the potential for fraud and the hassle of collecting and processing numerous receipts. PEX prepaid cards are not credit cards, so there is no credit check. And the cards have tight, digitally-enabled spend rules that an admin sets up to ensure spending is authorized. The ability to fund and defund cards in real-time, view transactions as they happen, and integrate data into existing accounting software dramatically speeds up and simplifies the expense process.

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