What are the alternatives to petty cash?

The word “petty” in petty cash is more than a little ironic – as anyone with first-hand experience of managing it will tell you.

After all, expenses are a considerable drain on a company’s budget each year, and petty cash plays a big part in how out of hand they can get.

It’s easy to lose track of, prone to being misused and likely to lead to overspending – not to mention impractical for significant expenses like flights.

That’s why you should start giving some thought to alternative options to replace your petty cash box. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.

Company credit cards

Company credit cards can be shared out among employees and used to pay for any business-related expenses, such as travel and entertainment.

Like any credit card, they can be useful for much-needed cash flow. But they can also be hard to supervise: there’s no way to limit how much someone can spend, or to spot misuse until further down the road.

And because expense reporting is such a long-winded process, it can be tough for your finance team to keep an eye on exactly who’s spending what, and if every cost has been approved.

Company credit cards, then, are generally reserved for upper management. These senior members of staff are responsible for paying on behalf of themselves and their teams, though they’ll often just lend the card out whenever they need to.

This is a hassle in and of itself, but also demands a level of oversight they’re unlikely to be able to give.

Your staff’s own pockets

If they don’t have access to a company credit card, your employees might need to front their own costs and devote time each month to reclaiming the money they’re owed.

It’s a big ask to expect your teams to pay for big ticket items like flights. But often it’s those little expenses that can prove even more problematic: a few drinks here and there can add up, and lost receipts or inefficient reporting can often lead to short-changed employees.

This isn’t great for morale, and can cause difficulties for those – junior staff, for example, or contractors – who don’t have the money to spare.

Smart prepaid cards

A prepaid card can be funded in seconds with as much cash as you like, and managed with bespoke budgets and rules.

Prepaid cards are a cost-effective, flexible and adaptable solution to your company’s spending, and they’re our speciality at Soldo.

You can add limits to each card to keep your budget in check, and create unique rules – where they can and can’t be used, and on what – to prevent misuse. In short, you’re in complete control, no matter how many cards you allocate.

Every penny you spend is recorded automatically on our payment control platform.

This shaves hours off every stage of the management process: your teams no longer need to manually submit their expenses, and your admins have real-time oversight. Plus, they can export all this data and more in a couple of clicks, turning raw data into actionable insight.

Get in touch to learn more about how our expense management tools work, and to take your first step towards smarter spending.

 

Petty cash Company credit card Out of pocket Smart prepaid cards
Who has access? Everyone Usually upper management Everyone Controlled by you
Suitable for big expenses? No Yes No Yes
Enforces rules and limits? No No No Yes
Automates expense reporting? No No No Yes
Tracks transactions in real time? No No No Yes

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