Better alternatives to petty cash

Petty cash is tough to track, prone to being misused, and likely to lead to overspending – not to mention impractical for significant expenses like flights.

The word ‘petty’ in petty cash is more than a little ironic – as anyone with first-hand experience of managing petty cash 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 tough to track, 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.

Going cashless with company credit cards

Business credit cards can be shared among employees and used to pay for any business-related expenses, such as software subscriptions and staff 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 requires management to constantly keep track of company spending, which is an oversight they’re unlikely to be able to give.

Your staff’s own pockets vs petty cash

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.

Replace petty cash with smart prepaid cards

A prepaid business 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 employee expense policy 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 spend management platform.

This shaves hours off every stage of the expense management process. Your teams no longer need to manually submit their expenses – with a mobile app that captures receipts, VAT rates, expense categories and more at the point of purchase. Admins have real-time oversight on mobile or web apps. Plus, finance teams can export all this data and more into accounting software 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.

Find out how thousands of businesses manage petty cash efficiently.