For many, a new year means a fresh start. It’s a time to reflect on the past, examine any shortcomings, and then look forward to the future, with a resolution to do better.
Whether your plan is to lose weight, exercise more, or save money, now is the perfect time to set new goals, all in the name of improvement.
While you might be making resolutions for yourself right now, the new year is just as good a time to create goals for your business, and even more specifically, for your P-Card program. Does your P-Card program have a New Year’s resolution?
If not, make it so. Decide right now that this year’s P-Card program will be better than ever. Make this resolution the one you keep by following these simple steps:
Step 1: Identify the weak spots in your P-Card program
Take a look at last year’s P-Card program. By examining how your P-Card program performed last year, you’ll see how it was successful — and where it went wrong. By identifying the weak spots in your P-Card program, you can 1) discover what needs to be improved this year and 2) determine how to make those improvements.
To help find your program’s weaknesses, here is a list of problems that commonly plague P-Card programs. Perhaps one (or more) might apply:
- Personal purchases
- Purchase of unauthorized items
- Use with unauthorized vendors
- Splitting of transactions to avoid spending limits
- Active cards that are still in the hands of inactive/terminated employees
Step 2: Apply solutions to strengthen and grow your program
Once you’ve identified the weaknesses in your program, the next step is to come up with solutions that can strengthen those weak spots and make this a banner year for your P-Card program!
Two solutions exist that, when used together, could significantly reduce the common P-Card issues outlined above.
- Training — Misuse of P-Cards is not always deliberate fraud on the part of the cardholder. It also stems from a lack of communication, a lack of education, or both. When policies and procedures are vague or difficult to understand, a program runs the risk of inappropriate card usage. Similarly, when employees are poorly educated (or lack any training) in regards to a company’s intentions and expectations, misuse can occur due to simple ignorance. By providing training for your cardholders, you will equip them with the knowledge they need to conduct P-Card transactions in accordance with your company’s specific policies and procedures. Furthermore, training helps you confirm that your employees truly understand what’s been communicated to them. Your cardholders will know what is allowed, what isn’t allowed, and what consequences they will face if policies and procedures aren’t upheld.
- Reviewing — By failing to review receipts of transactions, your business ignores a myriad of mistakes and errors that are not only occurring but are also repeating. Reviewing receipts within a P-Card program is essential for its success. Much can be learned via monthly reviews of receipts and invoices, including transaction splits and inappropriate purchasing. Once identified, steps can be taken to deal with the offending cardholder (and in some cases, an offending merchant). And a simple check of ex-employee names against card numbers could confirm if any active cards are still in their hands — and might still be in use.
No time, no people… no way?
While both training and reviewing are two extremely important components to any P-Card program, sadly, they don’t always exist. Why not? A main reason is a lack of internal resources within a company. Neither time nor people have been dedicated to these tasks. Pulling managers, department heads, and accountants off their everyday duties to tend to P-Card diligence is often time-consuming, inefficient, and simply put, impractical. Yet — this diligence is critical to a healthy, successful program.
So, then, what’s the ultimate solution?
Card Integrity — for your best year yet
Fortunately, Card Integrity offers programs that help you boost your P-Card program with the components necessary for a successful year. Our training and reviewing solutions free up your internal staff, while providing an impartial, unbiased third-party overview of your P-Card program.
Our unique solutions combine state-of-the-art technologies with human interaction, to provide your program with consistent, quick, and — most importantly — effective results. You will see the difference, and so will your company’s bottom line.
For training, look to TRAINING-WISE, Card Integrity’s solution for education and communication. Conducted online, the courses are customized for your business and its special needs. Tests, attendance tracking, and signed policy statement ensure understanding and accountability.
And for reviewing, look to RECEIPT-WISE, Card Integrity’s answer to receipt review. This solution reveals missing receipts, active cards in the wrong hands, inappropriate purchases, and downright fraudulent activities, for a tighter, lower-risk P-Card program. Human interaction along with computer technologies ensures correct, error-free reporting on a monthly basis.
Resolve to solve your P-Card woes this new year!
Now that you’ve firmly resolved to improve your P-Card program, there’s no time like the present to get to work on that resolution. By taking advantage of the TRAIN-WISE and RECEIPT-WISE solutions, you’ve added a new team — the Card Integrity team — which is designed to work not only for you but with you in the new year. To get started today, call us at 630-501-1507 or click HERE to contact us via our website.