“Using Soldo has totally transformed our expense process. My employees are delighted by the ease of use – as am I!”
“This is definitely the future for businesses.”
Business expense cards: what are they?
A business expense card is a way for employees to cover the costs they incur while doing their jobs.
Staff with business expense cards don’t get access to the company bank account like they would with debit and credit cards. Instead, they have their own dedicated account they can access via a prepaid card, which you can load with as much money as you see fit.
Soldo expense cards, meanwhile, come with a number of additional features. Once you’ve handed them out to members of your team, you can manage them from a payment control dashboard, and add rules and limits to define how and where they can be used.Get a business expense card with Soldo
Business expense cards: how do they work?
Business expense cards are a simple way for your staff to buy what they need.
You can give them to as many members of your team as you like, and load them with as much money as you choose. Depending on the card provider, you may need to pay for this transfer. Staff can then use them as they would a normal credit or debit card for fuel, meals, online purchases and so on.
With Soldo, it’s free to transfer money into your employee’s business expense card account, and you can do so using your online console. This is also where you can check on what your cardholders are spending, and block cards if there’s any cause for concern.Get started
Business expense cards vs. business credit and debit cards
Credit and debit cards are popular among businesses, but they have drawbacks that business expense cards don’t.
With a business debit card, the balance on the card and the balance in the debit account are one and the same. This essentially means the cardholder has unlimited access to those funds – unless they run out.
So you’ll need to make sure that whoever you give them to is someone you can trust to do so responsibly. Even then, the card will likely be shared among many employees, which has the knock-on effect of making it far more difficult to keep track of who’s spent what.
A business credit card is linked to your line of credit. Its only spending limits are annual or monthly, making it susceptible to misuse. You’ll only be able to see statements at the end of the month, too, so you may not notice problems until it’s too late.
You’ll need to make sure you pay off your credit on time. If you don’t, you risk getting stung by high interest and damage to your business credit score (and your own, if you’re a sole trader). You’ll also need a good credit history to apply for one in the first place, and even then you might find your credit limits are too low for your business needs.
Business expense cards have a few key differences. Its balance is separate from the business bank account itself, which means the cardholder can only ever spend as much as you give them. And because it isn’t linked to your line of credit, staff won’t risk impacting your credit score.
With a Soldo business expense card, you can apply even more specific limits – how much a cardholder can spend in a day, for example. You can check in on payments in real time, and because all the transaction data is collected on one dashboard, it’s easy to create detailed reports to learn from your team’s spending habits.
Frequently asked questions
Business expense cards come with a number of features:
- Limited access to funds: Cardholders only ever have access to as much money as you decide to give them.
- No credit check: You’re eligible for a prepaid business card even if you don’t yet have a substantial credit history or if you have a shaky one.
- No maximum quantity: You can give as many prepaid cards as you like to as many team members as you like.
Soldo’s prepaid business cards come with a number of additional advantages:
- No risk of overspending: You can add extra rules and limits, to define how much cardholders spend and where they spend it.
- Real-time transaction data: You can view transactions as they happen, and turn on notifications to let you know if there’s a payment there shouldn’t be.
- Simpler expense reconciliation: You can see who’s spending what at all times, store photos of receipts and export data into integrated accounting software.
- Simpler accounting: You can upload transaction data straight into your accounting software, and seamlessly integrate your console with Xero’s bank feed.
- Good for morale: Your employees won’t need to pay out of their own pockets – they can do it all with their business expense card, and submit the details via the app.
If your business deals with expenses – no matter what its size – then a business expense card will be right for you.
For startups and SMEs, they’re particularly useful because you won’t need to provide a credit history when you haven’t been around for long enough to establish one. But they’re good for big businesses too. You can have lots of cards in circulation at once without sacrificing oversight, so you’ll be able to give them to individual departments, contractors and freelancers.
Business expense cards tend to share basic functionality, but only a few work hand in hand with popular accounting apps.
Using Soldo, for example, you can export and import transaction data to popular accounting apps like Quickbooks. Soldo’s payment control console also integrates seamlessly with Xero’s automated bank feed and accounting APIs.
This will give your accountants unparalleled insight into how money is being spent and where your expense policy can be tightened up. They might also be able to identify patterns in spending you can avoid as you continue to grow.
Business expense card providers will need to get some business details from you when you sign up, but they won’t look at your credit score. So if you’re new on the scene, or if you’ve had some trouble in the past, that won’t make any difference to you.
Keep in mind that while you can’t damage your credit score, you also won’t be able to improve on your existing one with a business expense card.
Out of pocket: You can ask your team to cover their own expenses and claim the money back at the end of the month. This may be problematic for those who need to pay for expenses they just can’t afford, and can have a big impact on morale. Plus, they’ll still need to spend time filling in expense claims and tracking down old receipts.
Petty cash: You might have some petty cash which employees can use for small ticket items. But it won’t be suitable if they need to purchase anything bigger, and your finance team will need to put a lot of time into managing and registering who spends what and where.
Credit cards and debit cards: Like prepaid business cards, credit and debit cards give your team the freedom to spend what they need. But there are a couple of big issues: you can only give them to a small number of employees, and it’s difficult to make sure there’s no misuse.