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Corporate Credit Card Policy: What is it & How to Create One

Leen Shami

October 26, 2022

5

Corporate cards are a great way to manage your spending, control expenses, eliminate petty cash, and, most importantly - give your employees the freedom to focus on their work without any blockages.
But for everything to work smoothly and for everyone to know how to use your corporate cards, you must establish some ground rules.

What is a Corporate Credit Card Policy?

A corporate credit card policy entails the protocols and terms and conditions of use associated with a company credit card issued in an employee's name. A company credit card policy protects businesses and companies from unauthorized payments and inappropriate use by outlining the repercussions and consequences of such actions.

Why Do You Need a Corporate Credit Card Policy?

In the same way, companies have a travel and expense policy; they have a corporate card policy. A company credit card policy is set in place to ensure all company cards are used for authorized and permitted business purchases.

In a corporate credit card policy, the guidelines, responsibilities of the cardholder, dos and don'ts, and repercussions of misuse are outlined. This ensures that all business finances are regulated.

While it is important to have a corporate credit card policy, Pluto takes the extra step to ensure all transactions and purchases are pre-approved, regulated, and permitted by:

  • Creating Pluto cards that can only be used with specific vendors
  • Setting daily, weekly, or monthly limits on cards
  • Having an approval workflow to make sure the necessary departments are approving all transactions
Credit Card
Creating a corporate card with Pluto

Which Employees are Eligible for a Corporate Credit Card?

It is essential to note which job roles are eligible for a company credit card to protect your business against accusations of favoritism or discrimination.

A company can decide whether all employees, c-suites, or department heads are eligible for corporate credit cards.

Typically, companies only give executives, VP levels, C-suite, and salespeople access to company credit cards. However, there are situations where employees who are not eligible for a company credit card may have to pay for business-related expenses, such as plane tickets. In this case, the employee would ask their manager to pay for such an expense with the corporate credit card, or they will have to pay using their personal credit card or cash and file a reimbursement, which will be reimbursed with the next paycheck.

 With Pluto's expense management platform, a company does not have to worry about corporate credit card eligibility or the hassle of employees filing reimbursements.

Using Pluto's platform, the business will have access to unlimited corporate cards, meaning any employee can be issued corporate cards with spend limits, approval workflows, and category-specific purchases. This results in no overspending and knowing all transactions are pre-approved and authorized due to the card only being accepted at allocated vendors.

Suppose an expense is made using cash or a personal credit card. In that case, the employee can snap a picture of their receipt and have it approved on the spot with Pluto's Whatsapp reimbursement feature, making it easier for finance teams and employees to sort through reimbursement receipts!

Corporate card message
Pluto's Whatsapp Reimbursements

Components of a Corporate Credit Card Policy

When creating a corporate credit card policy, the credit cards intended to be used, the credit card provider's requirements, and the company's needs should be known.
In most cases, corporate credit card policies include the following points as part of their corporate credit card policy:

1. Employee Credit Card Agreement

When issuing a corporate credit card to employees, an employee credit card agreement must be signed to ensure that employees understand the card belongs to the company, regardless of the employee's name on the card.
The agreement will also state that the company credit cards can only be used for business-related expenses, where the company can investigate charges, if necessary.

2. Permitted Types of Expenses 

The types of transactions that can be made should be stated clearly in the company credit card policy: work-related expenses only. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Meetings with clients
  • Work-related travel (e.g., flight ticket, accommodation)
  • Educational material
  • Software subscriptions
  • Legal document expenses
  • Business meals

While tending to the above is a good way to ensure company credit cards are being used for business-related expenses, Pluto offers cards that can only be used for specific vendors, such as fuel cards, to avoid mishaps or fraud.

Corporate card fuel expense
Vendor-specific purchase cards

With these policies and procedures in place, employees should note that if an instance occurs where the company credit card is used for non-authorized transactions, personal expenses, or cash withdrawals, they will be faced with disciplinary action.

The disciplinary action could result in the following:

  • Cancellation of the company credit card
  • Withdrawal of corporate credit cards privileges
  • Recovery of funds from employee's salary
  • Termination of employee contract

3. Exceptions

In some cases, an employee cardholder may incur an expense that is not usually permitted under the company credit card policy. To be able to do so, the company credit card policy should indicate how the cardholders can apply for an exception and get permission for such expenses.
While doing so, the company should also outline specific transactions that can never be made using the company credit card.

4. Spend Limits

The spending limits on a company credit card usually depend on the employee's job and level of seniority. The company credit card policy should clarify the card's limits when receiving a new card.
In general, businesses can choose to have limits established based on transactions per-item or on a cumulative basis. However, not all employees will have the same spending limits.
With Pluto, you can set spending limits on virtual or physical cards before issuing them to ensure that employee spending stays within their budget.

Corporate card new card creation
Set spend limits on Pluto

5. Temporary and Permanent Limit Increase

To get a limit increase on a company credit card, the cardholder must fill out a form stating why they need a limit increase on their card and whether it is a temporary or permanent limit increase. The form will then have to be signed by the employee's manager and sent to the company credit card provider for processing.
Although it is possible, the process of getting a limit increase on a company credit card may take quite some time. Pluto allows managers, administrators, and finance teams to increase limits on virtual or physical company credit cards in seconds.

Corporate card limit
Edit spend limits on Pluto in seconds

6. Approval Requests

A company credit card policy must show how approval requests work when using a corporate credit card. Usually, approvers are responsible for reviewing all transactions regularly. By doing so, the following is warranted:

  • The transaction or expense adheres to the company credit card policy
  • A receipt is attached to the transaction made
  • The description of the transaction follows the details mentioned above

Pluto takes the extra mile to automate approval workflows and receipt reconciliation. With Pluto, all approval requests will be made through the Pluto platform, and receipts will be collected through Whatsapp as soon as a transaction is made.

Corporate card request
Approval workflows on Pluto

7. Cardholder Responsibilities

Including the cardholder's responsibilities in the company credit card policy is an essential part of the document. The purpose is to describe how employees can ensure they use their cards appropriately.

It's important to include that:

  • Cards cannot be used for personal expenses
  • Cards must only be used by the cardholder to help avoid fraud 
  • Cards and PINs must be stored in a safe place
  • Cards must be reported as stolen and lost as soon as possible
  • Document all expenses and send monthly reports

8. Policy Violations

Employees are expected to comply with the corporate card policy. If the cardholder violates the terms stated, disciplinary action will be taken against the employee.

The disciplinary action can include:

  • Face a written warning for violating the corporate credit card policy
  • Pay for the expenses yourself if you've used the card for any inappropriate use
  • Lose the right to have a corporate credit card if you lose a receipt or violate the policy
  • Suspension or termination of employment if you give the company credit card to unauthorized people or abuse the expense limits
  • Loss of company card privileges if expenses are not submitted on time
  • Legal action and termination can be imposed if prohibited purchases are made using the company credit card

How Can a Corporate Card Policy Prevent Fraud?

Globalization and remote work have increased the risks of card fraud and identity theft. A proper corporate credit card policy will minimize these risks and ensure that your corporate funds are safe.

1. Flexible limits

With Pluto, it is effortless to set card limits in real-time, so decreasing the spending limit when needed can be done in a matter of seconds. This ensures that a card is not over-exposed. If the card details were compromised, the perpetrator would not be able to withdraw any big sums.

2. Limited users

You can see all the cardholders from your Pluto dashboard and create additional cards if needed. This prevents sharing card details between the employees, as it is simply not needed anymore. The cards are used by authorized personnel, who are aware of the proper use and policies - further preventing any potential fraud and leaks.

3. Vendor-specific cards

Pluto allows you to create a card for a particular transaction, purpose, or project. This will enable you to allocate a certain amount of money that can be spent on the card, meaning the risks of any authorized charges, re-bills, or other online scams are non-existent.

4. No petty-cash

In a bigger organization, petty cash can be an issue as it is easy to defraud. Even when used properly, it is a pain to keep track of. Petty cash is no longer a problem with Pluto corporate cards, particularly when you can issue as many corporate p cards as you need with Pluto seconds (specifically 9 seconds).

The Value of a Corporate Credit Card Policy

Company card policies control employee spending, ensure compliance, and minimize fraud risk. It's even easier to maximize your results by integrating it with Pluto's expense management software.

By integrating with Pluto, you can:

  • Issue unlimited corporate cards
  • Digitize receipt reconciliation
  • Reimburse in seconds
  • Review all transactions in real-time
  • Approve expenses in an instant
  • Minimize the risk of employee fraud

Key Takeaways

A corporate card policy will help you to establish ground rules that will keep things running smoothly but, at the same time, will not limit your employees in their day-to-day work.

Ensure everyone who will have the card is aware of the rules. The great thing about using Pluto is that you can make your corporate card policy very simple, as Pluto has all the tools to manage your spending and keep everything under control.

Find out how much your business can save with Pluto

Discover your savings with Pluto's Cost Saving Calculator and take control of your expenses. Unlock cost-efficiency now!

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Learn how Pluto is helping Keyper        to eliminate petty cash spending and optimize spend management

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At Pluto Card, our mission is to assist businesses of all scales make well-informed choices. To uphold our standards, we follow editorial guidelines to guarantee that our content consistently aligns with our high-quality benchmarks.

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5
All
Procurement
November 15, 2023

Mohammed Ridwan

Top 7 Accounts Payable Software in 2024

Processing bills is the most difficult part of procurement. 

Bill payments are often mistakenly duplicated, goods aren’t received as per purchase orders, or there are delays in the approval workflow. 

An accounts payable software makes the process hassle-free by automating approvals and payments and giving more visibility and control over your accounts payable (AP). It also enhances reconciliation and improves vendor relationships. 

While the core job to be done by an AP manager is to ensure good vendor relationships, manage between timely payments & cash flow, ensure compliance in payments, what you need is a solution that supports your organization’s finances in one place and ends the chaotic back and forth. 

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What is Accounts payable software?

Accounts payable (AP) software is a tool that helps businesses automate invoice and vendor payments via a centralized platform. An accounts payable automation software brings together all the key information into a single source of truth and enables teams to do the following:

  • Tracks bills and their statuses to avoid double payments
  • Enables two-way and three-way goods received note (GRN) & PO matching 
  • Supports customizable approval workflows for complete visibility
  • Supports local and international payments via various payment methods

Thus, AP software simplifies the payment processes and reduces unnecessary friction between finance, procurement & other teams. 

Top 7 accounts payable software in 2024

Here are the top 7 AP platforms for businesses. 

Based on your company size and needs, you can pick one of these to support your accounts payable.

1. Pluto

Accounts payable software by Pluto

Pluto is an accounts payable software that transforms your AP processes by simplifying bill processing. From enabling GRN matching to setting fully customizable multi-layer approval workflows, it is the best accounts payable solution to manage your vendor payments and relationships. 

Key features:

  • Facilitates three-way GRN matching with purchase orders and item-based matching
  • Consolidates approved invoices in a single window to highlight pending bills and avoid delays
  • Offers a flexible approval engine capable of managing intricate hierarchies without requiring technical expertise
  • Enables multi-layer invoice approvals with policies to align with your company's structure
  • Ability to upload invoices easily via WhatsApp images and emails directly to speed up the receipt capture process
  • A centralized dashboard to gather bills in one place and track the status to avoid double payments
  • Vendor-specific corporate cards to control budgets and detect irrelevant expenses
  • Enables creation of a preferred vendors list for quick payments 
  • Supports local and international wire transfers to make payments 
  • OCR technology minimizes manual data entry by creating and populating bills from invoices
  • Supports ERP integration to synchronize your vendors, POs, and bills and integrates with accounting software such as Oracle, NetSuite, Zoho, Quickbooks, Wafeq, Xero, etc.
  • Raises alerts for upcoming payments, enables scheduling payments in advance and automates invoices 
  • Provides a complete audit trail of the process to ensure visibility at each step
  • Shows real-time analytics to facilitate deep insights for supporting budget control

Pricing:

Request the sales team for a custom quote.

Pros:

  • Enables branch- and subsidiary-level spend tracking (not offered by other platforms)
  • Offers up to 2% cashback on all non-AED transactions 
  • Independent PCI DSS Level 1 certification
  • SSO/SAML Capabilities for Enterprises
  • Integrates with Netsuite, Microsoft Dynamics
  • Better Forex rates than most local banks 
  • Multiple integration options

Cons:

  • Integrates with all other major ERPs except Tally
  • Slightly longer on-boarding due to corporate card offering 

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2. Tipalti

Accounts payable solution by Tipalti

Tipalti is an automation tool that supports end-to-end AP processes. It helps you streamline accounts payables and make global payments in local currencies for various recipients, from suppliers to freelancers. The cloud-based platform helps finance teams manage payments without losing visibility and control. 

Key features:

  • Supports supplier onboarding and vetting to ensure supplier reliability and trustworthiness
  • Integrates with ERP and accounting systems to help with reconciliation reporting
  • Uses OCR to scan, capture, match, and process invoice data to reduce manual errors
  • Provides built-in approval workflows and payment scheduling 
  • Offers invoice processing, including two-way and three-way PO matching and approval to avoid overpayments
  • Assists AP processes for subsidiaries and entities

Pricing:

Starts at $129 per month per user for the platform fee and charges for additional features separately.

Pros:

  • Can manage supplier bank account details in a secure environment

Cons:

  • Cannot use it for prepayment invoices on inventory purchases with the ERP system
  • High foreign currency exchange fees
  • Tax forms can be difficult to fill out and very difficult if you do not speak English

3. Airbase

AP solution by Airbase

Airbase is an automation solution for managing global AP processes. It focuses on ensuring compliance and syncing with your accounting tool to streamline the payment process. 

Key features: 

  • Offers OCR to populate details, including general ledger (GL) category, date, amount, and purpose
  • Supports onboarding with a self-service vendor portal and custom questionnaires
  • Has a centralized dashboard with all key information about the invoice to avoid friction 
  • Accepts invoices from email or vendor portal across all subsidiaries
  • Offers automated approval workflows based on multiple parameters, such as vendor, amount, GL category, etc.
  • Enables three-way invoice matching to ensure compliance and reduce wasted spend
  • Facilitates payments and approvals, including multi-subsidiary support, international currency, and real-time GL sync
  • Real-time audit trail with receipts, notes, and documentation for transparency

Pricing: Request a custom quote.

Pros:

  • Intuitive and easy to use; no training or previous knowledge required
  • Seamless approval workflows

Cons:

  • The mobile app is slow and takes time to load pages 
  • SSO-based login is not smooth
  • Not suitable for complex branch-level approvals and expenses

4. Ramp

Ramp's Accounts payable platform

Ramp is an accounts payable solution designed to manage payments and business expenses. It automates bill entries, approvals, and payments while offering complete visibility and control. By tracking each AP step from data recording to approvals, it simplifies payment processing and takes the burden off teams. 

Key features:

  • Uses AI to automatically extract key details from invoices to offer accuracy and eliminate data-entry errors
  • Identifies duplicate invoices and helps with two-way matching to purchase orders
  • Offers custom approval workflows to minimize errors and ensure timely payments 
  • Provides a unified dashboard with visibility into the status of invoices
  • Consolidates multiple payment options, such as check, card, same-day ACH, or international wire
  • Integrates with accounting solutions, such as QuickBooks, Xero, Oracle NetSuite, Sage, etc. for auto-sync bill pay transactions
  • Supports international payment processing in multiple currencies 
  • Tracks vendor data and transactions for easy reporting and data-driven decisions

Pricing:

Three pricing packages—free or basic features, $15 per user per month for Ramp Plus, and custom quote for enterprises with features like enterprise ERP integration, custom implementation, and local card issuance. 

Pros:

  • Works with multiple subsidiaries
  • Offers cash back on credit card purchases made using VISA cards

Cons:

  • Can’t unmatch an incorrectly matched invoice (invoice to credit card)
  • Approval routing can only be set on the vendor level, not department level
  • Limitations in syncing repayments

5. Bill

Accounts payable software by Bill

Bill is a spend management solution for SMBs to control payables, receivables, expenses, and all corporate expenses. It allows businesses to streamline scattered AP processes into a single platform and gain more control over their finances. 

Key features:

  • Enables tailored approval processes to facilitate approvals with minimal hassle
  • Automates purchase order workflows with the option for automated two-way and three-way matching
  • Simplifies expense reconciliation through quick coding and integration with accounting systems
  • Automates receipt matching, categorization, and expense reporting, decreasing administrative tasks
  • Syncs with all major accounting systems like QuickBooks, Sage, Intacct, and NetSuite
  • OCR auto-populates invoices for data entry
  • Provides bulk payments of approved invoices with payment choices, such as ACH, credit cards, checks, and international wire transfers
  • Offers audit trail of any changes or actions related to the invoice on a single page

Pricing: Provides a free trial and essentials pack starting at $45 for six standard user roles. Its team and corporate pack are for $55 and $79, respectively. Enterprises need to request a custom quote.

Pros:

  • One-click swift payments
  • Minimum training required
  • Easy-to-use mobile app

Cons:

  • Customer support is difficult to initiate, slow, and unresponsive
  • Frequent changes in the interface create confusion for users
  • Limited customization options for reporting 

6. Melio

AP Software by Melio

Melio is a bill payment tool that enables businesses to pay via bank transfer and debit cards. Even when the vendor accepts only checks, it pays checks on your behalf to facilitate bill processing. It processes payments and issues checks without the payee having to use the platform. It is a tool suitable for small businesses to process payments without hassle. 

Key features:

  • Enables payments via credit card even when the vendor doesn’t accept the card to support deferred payments
  • Allows inviting additional users (such as accountants) to set up roles and permissions and manage approvals easily
  • Supports two-way sync with QuickBooks and Xero
  • Facilitates bulk payments and split payments (splitting bills into multiple payments) 
  • Offers international payments across the border 
  • Raises duplicate payment alerts to assist in fraud detection

Pricing:

Free to process ACH payments to vendors; charges a fee for other payment modes (check Melio pricing)

Pros:

  • Offers a free-to-use payment module (only with QuickBook)

Cons:

  • Lack of integration with accounting software
  • Turnaround time on a check is three business days 
  • Support is very limited
  • Limits payments to two checks per month 

7. Spendesk

Spendesk: Accounts payable platform

Spendesk automates the AP process by bringing together purchase orders and invoices to facilitate budgets, payments, and approvals. It creates a single source of truth to cut hours of manual work and detect errors better. It is a cloud-based software that improves budget control and financial reporting. 

Key features:

  • Offers a centralized platform for tracking payments right from the purchase order stage 
  • Supports invoice capture via email and image/file upload
  • Uses OCR to extract key information from the invoice, such as supplier name, amount, dates, and purchase details
  • Enables budget changes in real time without a manual data-entry system
  • Allows scheduling of payments and matching of purchase orders with the invoice for effective GRN matching
  • Provides customizable and built-in approval workflows and controls to monitor spending 
  • Raises alerts for duplicate invoices to enable teams to avoid overpayments and defect frauds

Pricing:

Request a custom quote.

Pros:

  • Super convenient for ad-hoc expenses 
  • Intuitive and interactive interface
  • Easy manual upload in case OCR doesn’t support receipt capture  

Cons: 

  • Glitchy virtual card payments with delayed notifications and declined transactions
  • OCR-based receipt capture only works for emails
  • Basic features like memorizing accounting patterns for vendors are only available in the paid module

What are the benefits of accounts payable software?

Adopting AP software helps you in the following ways: 

  • Gives real-time visibility into the status of invoices and payments
  • Provides insights into spending patterns, vendor performance, etc.
  • Streamlines payment and approval workflows, leading to smoother payment processes and vendor relationships

How to choose a good accounts payable Software

Ease of use

The AP software must be flexible to accommodate complex hierarchies without making it difficult to follow the workflows. It should offer trigger-based workflows and a clean user interface. Your team shouldn’t struggle to learn how to use the product and rely on the support team to get basic invoices cleared. 

Multiple payment options

From local transactions to international wire transfers and other digital payment options, AP software must support multiple payment options. It becomes easier with vendor-specific cards that make payments safe and fast. Pluto helps you set up vendor-specific cards, even for public relations officers. This is something most platforms on the market do not support.

Accurate data capture

AP software with OCR capabilities makes invoice processing faster and reduces errors. The ability to process invoices from different platforms and sources, such as emails, Slack, and WhatsApp, is required. Moreover, moving these captured invoices into the centralized database and syncing with accounting software eliminates the manual data entry task.

Approval workflow

Approval workflows are key for timely and accurate payments. An AP software must have a simple no-code workflow builder, even for complex hierarchies. This is especially useful for large organizations where this process can be intricate and long. 

Integration

Vendor payments need to be recorded across accounting systems for effective reconciliation. The AP software must integrate with your accounting systems and platforms to automate data entry and facilitate a synchronized record-keeping system.

Centralized dashboard

The AP software should offer a dedicated dashboard with all the key information such as vendor, invoice number, status, description, etc. Also, it must give a separate centralized view for expense tracking. This gives you visibility into where you spend the most and helps you optimize resource allocation. 

Supports GRN matching

The AP software interface must be designed in such a way that it supports GRN matching, both two-way and three-way matching. Be it in the form of OCR invoice capture or offering item-based matching capabilities. This will avoid any under- or over-payments and support a healthy vendor relationship. Also, this eliminates complications in the reconciliation process.   

Reporting 

Reporting capabilities of AP software help to identify the spending patterns and other key insights related to department-specific expenses, budgeting, etc. Hence, AP software must provide a dedicated reporting dashboard with the option to export the reports for enhanced analytics and reporting. 

Transforming Accounts Payable with the Right Software

Accounts payable is not just about clearing bills and vendor payments. It is the basis for vendor relationship management and proper order in financial processes. From getting approvals to matching GRN, you need software that offers ease of use with the right blend of functionality. 

Too complex of a product will leave your employees confused, leading to double work. Lack of customization will have teams work harder to adopt the product. Limited integration will have the accounting department working twice as much on data entry and syncing. 

Make the right decision and choose software that gives you control, customization, security and speed, all while embracing automation capabilities. 

Book a demo and discover how a simple automation tool transforms your AP process.

Disclaimer: The comparisons and rankings of accounts payable software competitors in this article are based primarily on reviews found online. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, these reviews are subjective and reflect the opinions of the users who posted them. The information presented is intended for general informational purposes and should not be considered as a definitive guide for choosing a software provider. We encourage readers to conduct their own research and consider their specific needs before making a decision.

5
All
Spend Management
October 13, 2022

Leen Shami

How to Take Control of your Employee’s Fuel Reimbursements

Many companies require in-person meetings, site visits, or attending events. Whatever the business-related travel may be, fuel reimbursement comes into the picture.

What is Fuel Reimbursement?

In a nutshell, fuel reimbursement is when an employer reimburses you for the cost of fuel used for business purposes.

While other countries may consider this a travel expense or a mileage reimbursement, the UAE considers this a 'fuel reimbursement.'

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Why Did Reimbursing Travel Expenses Grow?

In a post-pandemic world, where many companies are going back to the norm of office work, it is common for travel reimbursement costs to increase.

The mileage reimbursement rate has risen with regular office hours, more in-person meetings, and less remote work. But that's not the only reason.

Due to the surge in fuel costs globally, it's no surprise that consumers are becoming more aware of their travel expenses.

The UAE alone has seen a significant spike of 74% in fuel prices and petrol prices over the last 7 months, indicating that reimbursing travel expenses grew.

Subsequently, UAE companies have seen a 38% increase in fuel reimbursements and travel reimbursement requests from their employees. Inflation alongside a post-pandemic world, fuel reimbursement expenses have become the most requested reimbursement category in the UAE.

A study by Bayzat has shown that fuel is among the most requested reimbursements category for UAE employees, with an increase of 18% in the average amount per reimbursement since January.

This indicates that companies and employees have spent more time managing and filing fuel reimbursement expenses. 

Unsurprisingly, the cost of average travel reimbursements has increased with the significant spike in fuel prices and petrol prices these past few months.

With Pluto's corporate cards, companies can wave goodbye to everyday fuel reimbursement expenses' pain points by issuing their employees fuel cards to keep track of their fuel expenses and travel reimbursement costs.

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Why Use Pluto Fuel Cards For Fuel Reimbursement?

There are many advantages to using Pluto fuel cards for business travel expenses:

Create unlimited fuel cards

Create and distribute as many virtual or physical fuel cards as needed for your employees, so you won't have to worry about travel expenses, mileage reimbursement requests, or having to reimburse employees.

Create fuel cards
Create Fuel Cards on Pluto's Platform

Set limits on fuel cards

Create fuel cards for employees with daily, weekly, or monthly spending limits to keep track of employees' fuel expenses.

Set Custom Limits on Fuel Cards

Track fuel expenses in real-time

Expense tracking in real-time
Real-time Transactional Data

It's essential to keep track of what is being spent and where. With Pluto, you can:

  • Get notified as soon as a fuel expense is made so you know who spends what, where, and when.
  • Keep track of average travel reimbursements' costs, travel expenses, and employee expenditure data to avoid going over budget on fuel expenses.

No more end-of-month expense reports on fuel!

Digitized receipt reconciliation

Whether your employees are using personal vehicles or company vehicles, they can simply make a transaction with their personal card, snap a picture of the receipt and upload it to the Pluto dashboard for fuel reimbursement.

Alternatively, UAE companies can issue their employees virtual or physical cards, and the receipt can be attached to the business expense by dragging and dropping it onto the Pluto dashboard.

No more searching through piles of paper receipts! 

Fill up your tank anywhere

Once you issue your UAE employees a virtual or physical fuel card, they can use it at any gas station in the UAE for business travel expenses.

While requested reimbursements for fuel expenses grew over five-fold over the past couple of years, there is a solution to make CFOs' and finance teams' lives easier; Pluto Card.

With Pluto, finance teams have an all-in-one integrated platform for fuel reimbursements, budget & spend control for business travel expenses, and fuel receipt reconciliation.

Fuel Reimbursement vs. Mileage Reimbursement

When looking for information about fuel reimbursement, another term that you may stumble on frequently is mileage reimbursement. While they are similar and sometimes interchangeable, they are not the same.

What is Mileage Reimbursement?

Mileage reimbursement refers to the practice of reimbursing employees for business-related travel expenses.

While it accounts for fuel, it also considers lease, vehicle depreciation, and other car-related expenses. This type of reimbursement is usually given per mile driven.

In some countries, mileage reimbursement refers to accounting rules and categories that help standardize expenses.

What is Fuel Reimbursement?

Fuel reimbursement, on the other hand, only covers the cost of fuel used for business travel. It doesn't take into consideration any other car-related expenses. This type of reimbursement is usually given based on receipts.

The difference between fuel reimbursement and mileage reimbursement is that mileage reimbursement takes into account all car-related expenses, while fuel reimbursement only covers the fuel cost.

How Does Fuel Reimbursement Work?

If you use your car for business purposes, you can be reimbursed for the fuel costs incurred. The reimbursement is usually calculated based on the number of kilometers traveled or miles driven.

However, to qualify for fuel reimbursement, you will need to keep accurate records of your travel expenses. This includes maintaining a logbook of your travels and keeping receipts for all fuel purchases.

To ensure that employees are reimbursed correctly, they need a receipt and an accurate logbook. Fuel and travel expenses can be included as costs, but you must show all travel logs if necessary.

What Counts as Business-Related Fuel Reimbursements?

Here are some examples of obvious and less obvious fuel expenses that you can get reimbursed for when you are an employee:

  • Traveling for a client meeting;
  • Driving to pick up anything on behalf of the company;
  • Driving to the airport to pick up a client or a colleague;
  • Going to another city for a business-related event;

Anything done to advance the business, big or small, is business related.

Is Commuting to Work a Business-Related Expense?

While some big corporations may reimburse you for commuting to and from work, typically, commuting is not considered a business expense.

What to Track For Fuel Reimbursement?

Keeping a gas log is one of the best ways to ensure employees are correctly reimbursed while companies have a clear overview of their travel expenses.

Last but not least, when you put fuel reimbursements into your profit and loss statement to apply them as costs (which you should), you must have a detailed log of travels - in case the tax authority wants a record.

Here is the main employee expenditure data that you should store in your fuel reimbursement logbook:

  • Date of each journey
  • Start time and end time of driving.
  • Purpose of the trip.
  • Kilometers driven.

If a company provides employees with company cars, this is all. But, if you're filing for fuel reimbursement while traveling with your personal vehicle, you will have to provide the following:

  • Brand of the car and the year it was made.
  • Average fuel consumption as per the car documentation.
  • Engine size or engine capacity.
  • Copy of car technical documentation.

Does an Employer Have to Pay For Fuel?

Most companies reimburse fuel expenses for employees who need to travel for business, but there might be some limitations. For example, a company may ask you to use its corporate Careem account for business travel.

Typically, if you incur the cost of fuel, your company will reimburse you as it is a cost tightly associated with the business.

Is Fuel Reimbursement Tax Deductible?

A massive shift for UAE companies will be the introduction of corporate taxes in 2023. With a corporate tax rate of 9%, UAE companies must keep track of all their spending. Fuel reimbursements fall under that category, as they can help reduce the amount of taxable income that a company has.

If you have a fuel reimbursement policy in place, it will help ensure that all of your employees are mindful of their spending on fuel and that they only claim back what they have spent.

Pluto allows UAE companies to issue unlimited fuel cards while centralizing the expense in one dashboard, so you can see in real-time how much is being spent and the number of tax-deductible costs your employees are making.

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November 9, 2023

Mohammed Ridwan

Corporate P-Cards: How to Use Them for Maximum Advantage

P-cards can replace your corporate credit cards. 

If you rely on credit cards, you would have 2-3 cards issued to the executives, which are shared with the employees. Though it seems a great method to ensure approval and budget control, it has many loopholes.

The finance teams are running after employees for receipts, employees are waiting on OTPs and approvals, and the CFO is not satisfied with the numbers.

You look for alternatives and land on p-cards. 

P-cards (or purchase cards) are corporate cards you issue to your employees for business expenses. Then, be it purchasing a SaaS or making vendor payments, employees use it for all work-related spending. 

What Is the Difference Between a Credit Card and a P-Card? 

While both cards are used exclusively for business expenses, there are many differences.

Credit cards make expense management difficult, with no visibility into where the money is going. An executive shares a single card with their team, creating a chaotic financial situation. 

The card owner struggles to manage a constant stream of payment requests. Employees are left hanging with delayed payments, waiting for approvals. Especially in bigger companies, finance teams struggle with reconciliation and zombie spending (which is when a company continues to pay for something that isn’t used anymore, or when it pays for services that former employees had used).  

On the flip side, if you use p-cards, you can issue each employee a separate card for corporate expenses. Each card has a specific budget and restrictions to ensure control and facilitate approval without delays. 

For instance, you issue a card with a $500 monthly limit, restricted to office supply vendors like "Office One."

In this way, you manage budget control and approvals without losing visibility or having to micromanage. 

What Is the P-Card Process?

Moving from a credit card to a P-card isn’t complicated. Here is a step-by-step process of how you can provide your employees p cards and start using them:

Step 1: Generate Corporate Cards

The first step is to choose the type of card you want for your employees: physical or virtual. While a virtual card can be set up in under a minute, a physical card takes about 2-3 days to get delivered.

generate corporate card

Physical cards work well for those who travel or have on-site jobs, making petty cash management easy. Contrarily, virtual cards support secure online purchases, such as buying SaaS tools or paying for digital advertising campaigns.

Once you decide whom to give a card and what type, set the budget and policies. You can incorporate the following policies to customize the cards:

  • Specify the budget and replenishment frequency of the budget on the card- daily, monthly, or yearly.
  • Define the purpose of cards by enabling only specific general ledgers (GL), labels, and tax codes.
  • Switch on/off the ATM withdrawal option.
  • Enable auto-lock for cards in case of receipt policy violation, where if the receipt isn’t attached in 7 days, the card is frozen. 
corporate purchase cards

All these customization options offer you better control without having to chase employees later. Deciding the budget, frequency, and vendors ensures that the card is used rightfully. 

For instance, you would switch off ATM withdrawal for virtual cards that are meant for buying SaaS tools. Likewise, you can establish a monthly replenishment schedule to maintain sufficient funds while preventing excess spending.   

Apart from this method, your employees can also request to activate the P-cards. They explain the card's purpose, after which the admin can approve/reject the request. 

customize corporate p cards

Now that the employees have cards in their hands, let’s see how you can better manage corporate spending with them. 

Step 2: Manage Expenses Via Centralized Dashboard

Every expense on the corporate p-card is visible in real time on a centralized transactions dashboard. You get key information such as merchant name, expense category, card information, amount, and approval status.

corporate p cards for expense management

Along with this dashboard, you get a dedicated tab for each expense where all its information is available. 

You can review the key information such as receipt, department, merchant, date/time, expense category, etc. you can also download the receipt, approve/reject the expense, and check the activity log. 

manage corporate p cards

The activity log keeps track of all the conversations that have been happening with a particular transaction. Traditionally, companies use email and Slack, which makes communication messy. With this log, they can keep all their conversations and important information in one organized place. 

Step 3: Create Approval Workflows

Approval workflows ensure that each expense follows a defined hierarchy for approval by the right stakeholders. You can customize them depending on different amounts, departments, and other factors. 

It is a simple no-code system where you create workflows based on if-then rules.

Creating financial approval workflow

A custom approval workflow ensures timely and effective approval without having to run after dedicated team members. Each of them receives a notification as soon as the expense takes place, and they can approve it easily. 

Approvals and employee reimbursement become easy with a frictionless workflow like this. 

Step 4: Report and Reconcile Expenses

Integrating your cards with your accounting systems becomes the last step to facilitate reporting and reconciliation. 

Integrate Pluto with your ERP

Once you integrate with your accounting software, you can enjoy complete visibility and control over your corporate expenses. 

You get a dedicated insights window to track expenses and identify trends. You can add custom filters and export these for further analysis. 

Get dedicated insights

To understand the entire process better, book a demo and see how you can benefit from switching to a corporate p card. 

Why Shift From Traditional Methods to Corporate P Cards?

Credit cards seem simpler, where a bank gives a few credit cards to share among the teams. But here’s why it doesn’t work:

  • It is difficult to track who spends what, how much, and why.
  • Employees wait for OTPs and approvals, delaying payments and reimbursements.
  • The chances of zombie spending increase because the same card is shared. This also becomes one of the loopholes which leads employees to misuse the cards.
  • The admins have to chase employees for receipts during reconciliation.

While these are just a few, relying on credit cards can cause chaos in expense management. Here are some reasons corporate p-cards are a more suitable option today:

No More Shared Cards

Corporate P card

You ditch the whole system of sharing credit cards, which is the root cause of limited visibility. With corporate p cards, you can issue any employee a dedicated card for specific expenses. 

So, if you issue Rashid from the marketing department a virtual corporate card for running Ads, he can not use it otherwise. He will be accountable for any unnecessary expenses beyond the specified budget.

This means more visibility and control over corporate expenses.  

Easy Receipt Management

Receipt management with Pluto

Corporate cards make receipt management easier with OCR technology in the following ways:

  • Submitting expense reports at the end of the day becomes easier as it auto-populates all the information
  • Uploading receipts in bulk upload with OCR handling the rest makes the process faster
  • Detecting duplicate receipts becomes simpler as OCR eliminates the risk of manual errors 

Apart from OCR, you also get the option to split the transactions to make the accounting process easier. Here, for each transaction, you can split the amount into a separate category, GL account, tax code, etc. 

Split transactions with ease

For instance, a $300 expense can be split into $200 for software purchases and the remaining $100 as consulting fees. Each will have a specific category, GL account, and corresponding tax code.

Budget Control

Corporate cards give more visibility and control over finances. 

Although both credit cards and p-cards can have specific budgets, p-cards enable you to set specific policies and rules. 

For instance, you give an employee a $1,000 monthly budget but restrict them to using the card only for office supplies purchases. 

Similarly, you can set a $500 monthly limit for marketing expenses and restrict the card to "Ad Campaigns" and "Promotions," ensuring focused spending.

Another benefit is to assign monthly, yearly, and weekly budgets.

For instance, you can allocate an annual budget of $500,000 for the marketing department but assign a weekly budget of $10,000 for ad campaigns. 

This facilitates flexibility for the teams to function better and gives the finance team more control over resource planning and allocation.

WhatsApp Integration

Integrate with Whatsapp

Receipt uploading becomes simpler when all you have to do is click a picture on WhatsApp and hit send. 

After each transaction, employees get a notification to upload the receipts via WhatsApp. With this simple integration, receipt capturing becomes simple and fast. 

Not only is the receipt captured, but stored under the relevant transaction tab with all its information intact. OCR makes it easier to extract key details and populate expense reports. 

Admins can approve these expenses, and reconciliation becomes a breeze. 

Eliminate Corporate Card Fraud

P-cards give you more control and security. From setting custom policies to raising alerts in case of duplicate receipts, p-cards ensure that employees don’t misuse the cards.

Additionally, the custom approvals workflows and dedicated activity logs reduce the chances of oversight. This system helps prevent unauthorized spending. 

For instance, an employee tries to use the card for a personal expense, like an expensive dinner. 

The custom approval setup will alert the admins. The active activity log with documented conversations will further ensure that no personal expense is charged on corporate cards. 

Get the Most Out of Your Corporate Cards 

Transitioning from credit cards to corporate p cards can be an exciting move. But to make the most of it:

  • Set an expense policy outlining the guidelines that will govern the corporate cards. This practice will also become the pillar for a healthier financial environment to support internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) efforts.
  • Understand the hierarchies in the company to create approval workflows accordingly. Find a balance between control and micromanagement. Managers should be informed about expenses without being excessively involved in them. 

Do this right, and you will have better visibility and control over your finances. The employees will not be left hanging for approvals. The finance team will be at peace, and the CFO will have more faith in the numbers.