For companies with staff frequently out and about on business travel, they will know only too well that transport, hotel bills, lunches, and drinks are among just some of the expenditures incurred when people are away from the office.
The costs quickly mount up, and the heap of receipts that employees come back with can be an administrative nightmare for accounting departments, especially when employees have been using their own or a general company credit card. And deciphering which payments belong to whom and so forth creates yet more work.
Travel expenses can be a pricey concern for firms – not just because of the actual expenses involved, but also the costs arising through the administration and red tape, potential unnecessary spending and disputes, and inefficiency of systems. Particularly since expense management tends to be a manual task, and let's face it, anything relying on people can be riddled with error – they're only human, after all.
In addition, management of business travel expenditure for accounting departments often requires time-consuming report filing and checking of legitimacy. And it isn't necessarily a picnic as far as the employee is concerned. Long waits for reimbursement as well as their own working time eaten up by filling in claims forms are a common complaint.
According to an Aberdeen Group research report, 'Travel & Entertainment' expenses account for 8% to12% of an organisation’s total budget, and astonishingly, they also reported that 59% of executives cite a lack of compliance to travel and expense policies as their top pressure. This means a lot of time taken up on this task, with a lot of scope for things to go wrong.
So how can life be made easier – and more cost-effective - for organisations that have employees who travel on business? CorporatePay (www.corporatepay.com) has the answer. As a leading provider of payment solutions for businesses, it has a specific expense management product aimed at helping make business travel simpler for both organisations and their people.
Instead of employees using their own credit card or the company one – which as shown, means more work for accounting staff as well as potential time and money losses to the business – they can be provided with an Expense Management Prepaid MasterCard® Card which has been preloaded with a budget limit allocated to the employee for use on their trip.
This type of Prepaid card differs from other payment cards in that the funds are paid into the card account prior to the purchase of goods and services. This process can be done centrally by the organisation and once funding is received and the card is activated, it can be used much like a debit or credit card to make transactions online or in restaurants, hotels and so on, in fact anywhere that accepts MasterCard.
Expenses paid to employees including cash advances, per diems and travel allowances can be all replaced with the Expense Management Prepaid Card. This helps employees manage their own corporate travel expenses better, in the knowledge that they have the funds to cover the trip, and it keeps all expenditure in one place for that particular employee – making life a doddle for the accounts department.
The Expense Management Prepaid Card transforms expense payment management from being a major red tape headache to a much lighter task, through offering employers increased control over payments, thereby helping to reduce administration costs and time, propensity towards mistakes and also concerns over legitimacy issues.
It also gives improved flexibility to business travellers and their employing organisations, through the ability to add or remove funds as required, and vary card functionality as needed.
Of course, for the employee, there is no worry they are going to have to wait an age for their hard-earned wages, paid out as expenses, to be returned. Nor do they have to waste working hours completing expense claim forms. It's a workable and simple solution for all.
And it helps enormously that prepaid cards are fast growing in popularity. According to PSE Consulting, it is predicted that prepaid card turnover from businesses could total $11 billion by 2015.
Of course, not all prepaid cards are the same, with some being better value or better suited to some circumstances than others. Unlike others, the CorporatePay Expense Management Prepaid Card has been specifically designed with business travel expenditure in mind. It offers a good value solution to ease some of the logistical nightmares around managing business expenses.
With prepaid cards now seen as an easy and mainstream way to spend money, employees should have no trouble in using the CorporatePay Expense Management Prepaid Card as they go about their work business. And employers can use the time and costs saved on more important business tasks.
CorporatePay, is a leading provider of payment solutions. Its Travel Expense Card Management programme offers tailored solutions for businesses. Cards are focused on increasing convenience for employees, improving the audit trail and reducing administration time. Each staff member can be provided with a prepaid card, with balances and spending limits controlled remotely via a simple, secure account management system. Greater visibility over expenses and real time account management allows companies to improve budgeting, record keeping and audit trails.
CorporatePay is the UK’s leading provider of prepaid card solutions for business as well as a consumer prepaid card programme. Operating across a range of sectors including travel, healthcare, media and production, CorporatePay helps clients maximise profitability and reduce cost by transforming how they manage payments to employees, suppliers and customers.
In 2012 CorporatePay was acquired by WEX Inc, formerly Wright Express Corporation (NYSE: WXS) - a leading international provider of physical, digital and virtual corporate card payment solutions.