Many businesses, both large and small, utilize company-issued credit cards as a way for employees to complete small purchases or pay for other business-related expenses. In order to reduce the possibility of misuse, well-defined policies for card usage should be communicated to employees and their supervisors. These policies should address issues such as appropriate usage, security, limitations and review procedures.
Employees selected to receive business credit cards should be held responsible for the security of the card, as well as the privacy of company-related information. This responsibility should include keeping the card in a secure location, protecting the card personal identification number and reviewing statements for fraudulent activity. Company credit cards should never be used by anyone other than the cardholder. Lost or stolen cards should be reported to the card issuer and the company as soon as possible.
Company credit cards should include spending limits in accordance with the anticipated needs of the employee. These limits should be communicated to the employee, at the time of issuance, and strictly observed. Employees should ensure that usage does not exceed this limit or incur over-limit penalties or fees. Company credit cards should never be used for cash advances.
Employees should be held responsible for regular usage reports to the designated supervisor. These reports should include a detailed explanation of individual charges, original receipts and appropriate company accounting codes. This information should be attached to the applicable monthly statement and submitted with enough time to avoid late payment fees.
Unless included as part of an employee compensation package, personal usage of a company credit card should not be permitted. Personal usage should be defined as any charges not directly related to the operation of the business or related expenses. Personal usage in an emergency situation should require additional explanation and immediate repayment to the company.
Review of employee credit card usage should be conducted on a regular basis. This review should be conducted by both the employee's immediate supervisor and a member of the business accounting department. The employee's supervisor should be held responsible for determining usage as applicable and appropriate for the employee's job responsibilities. The accounting department should ensure that payments and credits are processed properly and usage limits have not been exceeded.
Jeff O'Kelley is a professional photographer and writer, currently based in the Tampa, Florida area. His images and words have been featured by websites and publications such as CNN, Creative Loafing and Tampa Bay Times. O'Kelley holds associate degrees in telecommunications and website design from St. Petersburg College.