Spend Management
12 best practices for corporate credit card management

12 best practices for corporate credit card management

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Is your corporate card management in top shape? These 12 best practices can help keep your finances secure and your budgets on track.

What is corporate card management?

Corporate credit card management is the process of overseeing corporate credit card use in an organization—making sure the people who use those cards are following company policies and staying within their budgets.

Finance teams managing corporate credit cards set policies and procedures to ensure accurate expense tracking, responsible card use, adherence to tax rules, and financial control. This includes:

  • Developing spend policies
  • Issuing and authorizing cards
  • Tracking expenses
  • Preparing expense reports
  • Auditing and reconciling accounts
  • Analyzing spending trends
  • Training employees
  • Implementing security and compliance measures
  • Managing vendor relationships

Why is corporate credit card management important?

Corporate credit card management helps companies maintain financial transparency and control over employee expenses.

Benefits of corporate card management

By effectively managing corporate cards, companies can track and monitor employee spending, set budget limits and restrictions, and easily reconcile expenses. This helps prevent misuse or fraud and ensures that all business purchases are recorded accurately for financial reporting and compliance.

Proper credit card management can also help companies save money by maximizing reward points, avoiding late fees, and taking advantage of discounts and incentives offered by credit card companies.

12 tips to effectively manage corporate cards

If you're responsible for managing your company's corporate card program, be sure you're adhering to all 12 of the following best practices.

1. Set clear corporate card policies

Develop clear corporate card policies that outline how cards should be used, what business-related expenses are allowed, spending limits (by department, project, and employee), and reporting procedures—including when receipts are required. Communicate these policies to all cardholders.

2. Train employees on your policies

Be sure to train all card-holding employees on your corporate card programs and policies. Emphasize the importance of limiting corporate card use to business expenses (never personal expenses), and make your corporate credit card policy easily accessible so employees can consult the rules whenever they need to.

3. Centralize your expense tracking

Use expense management software or platforms that allow for centralized expense tracking across multiple company credit cards. This will streamline your reporting and reimbursement processes.

4. Set spending limits on each card

Define spending limits for each company credit card based on employee roles and responsibilities. This helps align spending with budgetary guidelines and prevents overspending.

5. Enforce spending limits automatically

Use automation to enforce credit limits for each cardholder. This prevents cardholders from exceeding their authorized budgets or making non-compliant purchases.

6. Conduct regular card audits

Regularly audit employee spend to verify compliance with policies and identify any possible misuse. To streamline the process, consider a corporate card platform with a mobile app that automatically reminds employees to categorize expenses and attach receipts.

7. Streamline reconciliation

Automate the reconciliation process by matching credit card statements with internal financial records — and, ideally, syncing your corporate card platform with your accounting software. This ensures accuracy and proper documentation.

8. Manage employee authorization

Only give cards to employees who have roles that require them, and be sure to cancel cards when employees leave the company. Wherever possible, consider using virtual cards for added security.

9. Sync corporate cards with your HR platform

Syncing your card management solution with your HR platform can help you make sure corporate cards are canceled whenever card holding employees leave the organization.

10. Use expense management tools

Expense management systems, like BILL Spend & Expense, can streamline your expense tracking, reporting, and even reimbursements, enhancing accuracy while reducing your team's administrative workload.

11. Analyze trends

Examining corporate credit card spending patterns can give you valuable information about how expenses are distributed and how vendor relationships are going. This can lead to new opportunities for cost optimization, such as capturing early-payment discounts.

12. Security

Establish security protocols to safeguard your confidential financial data while reducing your potential exposure in the event of a credit card theft or cyber breach. For example, use a platform that lets you create virtual corporate cards that are unique to each vendor. If there’s a vendor data breach, that vendor card can be canceled immediately without interrupting spend in other areas.

Can you automate corporate card management?

Yes, 100%. Automation can help you implement best practices for tax compliance and security while making it faster and easier to manage your corporate cards—saving you time, improving accuracy, and protecting your budgets.

BILL Divvy Corporate Card for corporate card management
The BILL Divvy Corporate Card as your corporate card management solution

Pair it with an easy-to-use mobile app, and you can say goodbye to chasing down receipts every month, making your monthly close a breeze. Employees can snap a photo of each receipt on their phone and save it right in the app—even getting automatic reminders in real time.

“In the past, someone had to ask what every purchase was for and how it should be categorized. Now, Spend & Expense does that job for us.” - Amber Johnson, COO, Jump Software

If you're looking for a way to automate your corporate card management, check out our Spend & Expense software.

Corporate credit card management FAQs

Need quick answers about corporate card management? Here are some frequently asked questions with fast, simple answers.

How do you manage a corporate card program?

Managing a corporate card program manually takes a lot of work. Many online card portals still require hours of work to oversee corporate card spending, reconcile accounts, handle reimbursements, order new cards for new employees, cancel old ones as employees leave, and so on. Not to mention conducting regular audits!

That's why more and more CFOs and even small-business owners are turning to automated spend management systems like BILL Spend & Expense—integrating their corporate cards with a spend management platform that's free to use.

How to manage multiple company credit cards?

As soon as your business has more than one corporate card, it's easy to lose control over company spending. Even if everyone spends responsibly, you won't see that spending until after it happens—and hunting down those receipts can be a real challenge.

That's why spend management platforms offer automatic control over budgets, letting you fund each card for a given amount—and letting employees upload receipts from their phones.

When your spend management platform is integrated with your corporate cards, spending is tracked seamlessly in a system that's free to use—so it's just as helpful for small businesses as it is for mid-market or even enterprise companies.

Who is responsible for corporate credit cards?

Generally speaking, a cardholding employee is an agent of your company. They're responsible for managing their card spending and sticking to your expense policies, but your company may also be responsible for paying the bill—even for spending that wasn't authorized.

Corporate credit card programs may also involve several levels of responsibility. The CFO may bear ultimate responsibility for the program's success, but that responsibility also ladders up through the ranks. Managers are responsible for their own spending. Directors are responsible for the budgets of their direct reports. Vice presidents are responsible for spending throughout their divisions, and so on. The larger a company is, the more levels of spending oversight will be required.

Automation can centralize your corporate credit card program, helping you enforce your corporate credit card policy, manage your cash flow, simplify your expense reporting, and oversee business purchases at scale.

The information provided on this page does not, and is not intended to constitute legal or financial advice and is for general informational purposes only. The content is provided "as-is"; no representations are made that the content is error free.