How To Reduce Corporate Credit Card Overspending By Jonah Balfour Corporate credit cards can be useful, but traditional cards leave the door open to overspending and fraud. For example, in 2019, a tech analyst used his corporate credit card to pay $21,000 at an adult club. He submitted the expense to his company without even thinking. Needless to say, his employer was not pleased and ended up suing him! Corporate credit card overspending is always a risk for businesses. Organizations with hundreds of employees spend endless hours reviewing and auditing credit card expense reports. But even then, it’s difficult to be 100 percent sure that every reimbursement or expense is accurate. Corporate credit card overspending can drain thousands of dollars annually, putting any business in jeopardy. Plus, outdated expense processes drain energy, effort, and resources — without guaranteeing accuracy. A modern solution with the ability to issue clear reports in real time can help businesses navigate these risks. Credit Card Expenses and COVID-19: Employee Spending Sprees COVID-19 caused a shift to remote working all around the world. Remote working reduces costs and overhead, so for the most part employers were happy to provide resources for employees to work productively from home. Unfortunately, access to corporate funds was too much of a temptation for some people. According to Oversight’s Spend Insights Report (Nov. 2020), fraud increased by 57% between Q2 and Q3 in 2020. Most of the violations were unauthorized expenses for buying computers and electronics (i.e., someone from your customer support team buying a portable speaker under the guise of office supplies). The report highlighted risky and irregular buying habits and purchases by employees worldwide. Moreover, the massive volume of expenses exposed businesses to twice as much risk in Q2 2020 compared to Q2 2019. Reviewing your credit card expense reports is not enough to track violations. Businesses need to be more proactive in dealing with fraud and tracking expenses to ensure accurate reimbursements. Here’s how you can cut overspending and streamline your credit card expense reports. How to Cut Overspending and Streamline Expenses Use Virtual Cards Using virtual credit cards instead of physical ones is a great way to reduce overspending. Providers like Mesh create customized e-credit cards with personalized limits and spending rules. Businesses can also create one-time cards to pay for approved expenses. Mesh virtual credit cards give you real-time visibility into employee expenses as they happen. You don’t have to wait till the end of the month to get your expense report. Businesses can be notified of suspicious expenses instantly and take action right away. You can also view vital information like cardholder and approver details, receipts or invoices, and more. Organizations can ensure each expense is accurate and on-budget without hours of review. Set Up Purchase Approvals Businesses can bring down expense violations and stay on budget by requesting purchase approvals before all transactions. If an employee wants to spend, they will need to first get approval from a manager or supervisor. Virtual credit cards enable employees to seek instant approval. The purchase will show up on the manager’s mobile or desktop for instant approval or denial. You don’t have to submit a paper request or wait for days for the manager’s approval or try to track them down over the phone or email. Employees are less likely to violate rules when they know every expense is visible to their manager. Get a Spend Management Tool Technology is an excellent way to reduce effort, increase accuracy, and boost productivity. It can also help you streamline your credit card expense report and kill overspending before it occurs. A spend management solution acts as the central platform to manage all expenses. You can keep track of unlimited virtual cards and expenses for all employees in real time. One way a spend management tool like Mesh can reduce fraud is by automating receipt collection. Businesses can match all receipts with payments to identify any gaps. The tool automatically collects electronic receipts and will remind your employees to submit receipts until they complete the task. Managers can get instant notifications when a receipt is added with complete transaction information. As a result, they can detect unapproved purchases immediately and spot discrepancies when receipts don’t match transactions. Analyze Expenses Analyzing your credit card expense report is key to understanding spending behaviors. With Mesh, you get end-to-end payment intelligence to generate valuable insights about your expenses. Best of all, Mesh automates the whole process and provides you ready insights to take action. Apart from fraud, payment intelligence works well to track spending patterns, suspicious transactions, and duplicate expenses. You can zoom in on every expense and strengthen your understanding of how your employees are spending — and ensure that your company is not overspending. Businesses should also issue an expense policy to reduce spending violations. Final Thoughts Expense violations are on the rise post-COVID. Businesses need to be proactive in identifying and preventing overspending. You can use virtual cards and a payment management system to cut down the risk of unapproved and unnecessary transactions. Additionally, you can scan your expense reports for insights to understand unusual or suspicious behaviors. Businesses can also set up pre-approvals to check uncontrolled expenses. FAQs What are the risks of corporate credit card overspending? Corporate credit card overspending jeopardizes financial health, hinders growth, and damages business credibility and reputation. How can businesses reduce overspending and streamline credit card reports? Businesses can cut overspending by using virtual credit cards with personalized limits, implementing purchase approvals, and adopting spend management tools like Mesh for centralized expense management and automation. How do virtual cards help reduce overspending? Virtual cards provide control with personalized spending limits, real-time visibility, and instant approvals, reducing the risk of overspending and enabling immediate action against suspicious transactions. What are the benefits of a spend management tool for credit card expenses? A spend management tool like Mesh streamlines credit card expense management by automating receipt collection, matching payments, providing insights, and enforcing expense policies, helping detect unauthorized purchases, prevent overspending, and analyze spending patterns. Get the latest blogs from Mesh by subscribing to our newsletter Manage Your Payments With Full Control & Visibility Get Started Jonah Balfour Jonah Balfour is a Content Manager at Mesh Payments. He has experience creating content for multiple tech companies, and previous experience managing PR campaigns for emerging startups. Originally from Los Angeles, Jonah chose to leave the ample sunshine of Southern California to study at the University of Wisconsin. He is an avid fan of both Star Wars and Star Trek, and spends most of his time chasing after his two young daughters.