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Prepaid Cards for Business: Regarding the Employees Fronting Cash as a Measure of Control

Many companies deal with travel expense policies is to make employees pay out of pocket first, then submit an expense report, with receipts attached, and receive a reimbursement check weeks later. For the company this is a good deal because employees can earn credit card points and frequent flier miles while businesses have the final approval on expenses while timing the reimbursement as needed (and according to cash flow). However, there are drawbacks to this system that should be considered when reviewing expense management policies.

If employees are frequently putting large expenses on a personal credit card, they will need to have enough credit available. With credit being cut to businesses and individuals alike, this simply may not be a reasonable option. The reimbursement process can take weeks and if an employee travels frequently then these business expenses can quickly overwhelm a household budget. And every time an employee bumps up against a credit limit it becomes a major headache for everyone involved. For employees living with poor credit or paycheck to paycheck - this simply is not an option.

Also, the reimbursement process eats up valuable time and resources. The person submitting the expense report must sit down and complete the report, which taking time from doing their primary job functions. Then the reports must be reviewed and missing receipts need to be chased down. Once that is done, the check needs to be cut (and later reconciled) and the report needs to be filed for accounting purposes. All these steps take away time that could be spent on pieces more central to your business, like marketing and sales.

With a prepaid card for business like PEX Card, none of this has to happen. Expenses are paid directly from the company funds and purchases are automatically logged in the card transaction detail. There are no expense reports to fill out, receipts to find, or checks to cut. Employees don’t need to have extra credit available just for business expenses and they can confidently spend approved funds without being worried about reimbursement.

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