In the Fortune 500, it seems that the norm is for every senior manager or higher to be holding on to a corporate card, and for a well-defined (albeit perhaps archaic) expense reporting process to define the valid uses of that card. However frustrating, most of these companies seem to have expense policies the size of a short novel, dictating the “do’s and don’ts” of spending on the company’s dime. That makes it even more frustrating to fill out your expense report.
In comparison, in the world of small business, things tend to be a little more ambiguous. We hear from small businesses all the time who are trying to bring order to the chaos of having some employees submit reimbursement requests for out-of-pocket expenses, while other employees use a company-paid credit card, while the owner or owners perhaps use a debit card tied directly to the company’s checking account. Worse, the variations and combinations of these approaches lead to infinite complications for the CPA or ProAdvisor trying to sort it all out for financial reporting and tax accounting. Sometimes we think it’s a miracle that those accounting professionals can make sense of it all.
We’ve helped thousands of small businesses get to a sane, sustainable process for handling employee spend, but sometimes the first step is just starting to “track” what’s going on already. And at ProOnGo, we think small businesses deserve expense tools designed just for that level of flexibility. Here’s one more way we’re here to help with that…
The “I put it on the boss’s card” scenario
One of the most popular “bring order to the chaos” scenarios that we’ve heard from small businesses, is that sometimes the manager’s credit card gets handed around when someone else needs to go run an unexpected errand for the company. What happens next? Well, the expense is on the manager’s card, but the person who actually knows the details of the expense, is the person who borrowed the card. How does an expense like that get tracked correctly?
With ProOnGo, it’s easy. The manager can go into ProOnGo and find the expense (preferably sync’d into ProOnGo automatically, from QuickBooks’ Online Banking feature). Then, the manager can click on the “Delegate” button (meaning, “I’d like to delegate this expense”):
Delegating an Expense
Once the manager clicks on the “Delegate” button, a popup appears that shows the list of the manager’s employees, to whom the expense can be delegated:
Choosing an Employee to Delegate To
Once the expense is delegated to an employee, the employee can help fill in the blanks — helping to categorize, add or improve the memo, etc. After that’s done, the manager can even use the Delegate button to take responsibility for the expense again, if that’s desired (but that’s not the most important detail). What’s helpful about this approach, is that the expense gets tracked by the person that knows the most about the expense, even if the expense started out in the manager’s account.
Summary: even in the chaos of managing a small business, there is a way to bring order to the company’s expense reporting processes, and it doesn’t involve a novel-length expense reporting policy.