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Small Business Credit Card Usage Policy

When used appropriately, corporate credit cards can be valuable tools that help small businesses manage spending. To handle credit wisely, create a formal policy for how cards are used and issue the cards judiciously. Track all spending and carefully document and verify expenditures to ensure cards are being used in the most appropriate way.

Card Use Guidelines

Put together a written document that outlines who can use business credit cards and for what purpose. Be specific, as overly-general or cloudy guidelines can lead to unanticipated bills. You may opt to limit credit card usage only to executives and put a cap on their spending limits to keep charges in check.

Require Preapproval

急速PC28彩票If you want to keep a tight rein on spending, make credit card users get preauthorization before making charges. This will make staffers think carefully about making purchases, and it will give you a heads-up when the card is used. A slightly less restrictive policy might be to require that purchases in excess of a certain dollar amount require advanced authorization.

Request Documentation

急速PC28彩票Regardless of what a small business credit card is used for, insist that users provide you with receipts and an itemized breakdown of purchases. For example, if an employee uses a corporate credit card to buy gas when he's making sales calls, it can be easy to throw a few bags of chips and drinks onto the convenience store bill. If you don’t consider those extras a viable business expense, an itemized receipt can help you identify appropriate and inappropriate purchases.

Reconcile Statements

急速PC28彩票In many ways, a small business has an advantage over a large company when it comes to monitoring corporate credit card use. In a small business, where fewer people likely have access to company cards, it should be easier to reconcile monthly credit card statements to provide a measure of financial oversight. To be effective, this task should always be handled by someone in a position of financial authority for the business.

Address Discrepancies

急速PC28彩票If you're examining your credit card statements and the numbers look off, or you can't identify what a purchase is or why it was made, address the issue with the cardholder. Misuse of corporate credit cards is less likely when staffers know their activity is being monitored and that red flags will result in a meeting with the boss. Take cards away from employees who can’t use them responsibly.

References

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.

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