As the year comes to an end, many businesses are preparing budgets, reviewing expense reports, and evaluating employee spending.  These are all time intensive tasks that can prove to be daunting without the right tools or policies in place. Your time is valuable and there may be support available to lighten the load.  When it comes to year end data – consider these best practices and tips to elevate your purchasing card program, budget effectively, and prepare for the coming year!

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  • Data and Reporting: A Purchasing Card program provides real time transactional data that includes line-item detail such as the items purchased, fuel detail, or other pertinent information. Utilizing reports to monitor and track transactions can provide assistance to your business by ensuring the cards are being used properly by your employees. Consider integrating this spending data with your company’s existing financial systems to conveniently track purchases, review top areas of spend, and more!  Looking for a specific spending category or needing information on a specific vendor?  You’ll be able to easily populate reports to review and find the desired data with a purchasing card program’s advanced reporting.
  • Expense Management: Utilizing spending controls and merchant category codes can assist with managing cardholder spend. The Merchant Category Code is an assigned four-digit code used to identify the supplier/merchant principal trade, profession or line of business. Adding MCC codes to your card program creates guidelines for where your cardholders can or cannot use the card.  Setting merchant category code restrictions and spending limits can help you regulate spending and stick to the budget!
  • Minimize fraud and misuse: Fraudulent activity or misuse of a company’s purchasing card happens more often than not.  It’s important to create and utilize a policy and procedure manual that outlines policies for the use of the cards by your company cardholders.  The manual will serve as a playbook and creates uniformity in cardholder use.  Additionally, a policy and procedure manual may also define roles and responsibilities for cardholders and administrators. Consider, also, a Cardholder Agreement.  This is an annual agreement for all cardholders to read and sign; this agreement defines clear and documented use of cards.  The implementation of these internal company policies and procedures can reduce the risk of card fraud and misuse.

As you review your 2022 finances, take these tips and tools into consideration to make 2023 even better.  The Arvest Purchasing Card aligns your company’s payment program with your business needs by providing flexibility while maintaining control over employee spending.  To learn more about the Arvest Purchasing card, click here.