Corporate Card Policy Best Practices - Stop Expense Report Headaches!

Feeling overwhelmed by expense reports and employee reimbursements? Corporate cards offer a powerful solution, but a well-defined policy is essential. Explore the benefits of corporate cards, diving deep into policy best practices, fostering responsible spending, and simplifying expense management.

Corporate Card Policy Best Practices - WegoPro

​For businesses of all sizes, managing expenses can be a constant headache. Lost receipts, employee reimbursements, and inaccurate expense reports create a chaotic and time-consuming process.

Corporate cards, however, offer a powerful solution, streamlining expense management and increasing financial transparency. But simply issuing corporate cards isn't enough. To maximize their effectiveness and prevent misuse, a well-defined corporate card policy is essential.

The global corporate card market size is expected to reach USD 7.03 Billion by 2027 highlighting the increasing adoption rate of corporate cards.

What is a Corporate Card Policy?

A corporate card policy is a formal document outlining the rules and regulations governing the use of corporate credit cards by employees. It clarifies what expenses are permissible, spending limits, and the required documentation for expense reporting. A clear and comprehensive policy ensures responsible spending, simplifies expense management, and mitigates financial risks.

According to an Aberdeen Group study, businesses using corporate cards can reduce expense report processing time by up to 50%.

Types of Corporate Cards

Corporate Card Policy Types - WegoPro

Before diving into policy specifics, let's explore the different types of corporate cards available-

Corporate Credit Cards

These are traditional credit cards issued to employees and billed monthly to the company. They offer benefits like rewards programs, purchase protection, and travel insurance. However, they can also come with higher interest rates and annual fees.


Rewards Programs - Earn points or cashback on business purchases, which can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, or statement credits.

Purchase Protection - Provides coverage against damage, theft, or loss of purchased items.

Travel Insurance - Certain cards offer travel insurance benefits like trip cancellation/interruption coverage, medical evacuation, and baggage delay.

Global Acceptance - Accepted by millions of merchants worldwide, simplifying business transactions overseas.


Interest Rates - Corporate credit cards typically carry higher interest rates than traditional business loans. It's crucial to pay the balance in full each month to avoid accruing interest charges.

Annual Fees - Some corporate credit cards come with annual fees, which can add to the overall cost.

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Purchasing Cards

These are prepaid cards with a pre-loaded set amount of funds for specific purchases. They provide greater control over spending since employees cannot exceed the pre-loaded balance.  Purchasing cards are often used for recurring expenses with approved vendors or for one-time purchases with specific budget allocations.


Predefined Spending Limits - Provides greater control over spending since employees cannot exceed the pre-loaded balance.

Reduced Fraud Risk - Minimizes the risk of unauthorized charges since cards are not linked to a bank account.

Improved Budgeting - Helps with budget allocation and tracking spending for specific projects or departments.


Limited Acceptance - Purchasing cards may not be accepted by all merchants, particularly for online transactions or recurring subscriptions.

Reloading Process - Requires manual reloading when the card balance is depleted, which can create administrative burdens.

Virtual Cards

These are digital cards specifically designed for online transactions. They offer enhanced security since they are not physically issued and can be limited to a single transaction or a specific merchant.  Virtual cards are ideal for online subscriptions, software purchases, and other digital transactions.


Enhanced Security - Ideal for online transactions as virtual cards are not physically issued and can be limited to a single use or a specific merchant.

Real-time Control - Issuers can deactivate virtual cards immediately if compromised, minimizing financial losses.

Improved Tracking - Virtual cards provide detailed transaction data for easy expense categorization and reporting.


Limited Functionality - Not suitable for all types of business purchases, such as in-person transactions requiring a physical card.

Merchant Acceptance - Some merchants might not accept virtual cards due to additional verification processes.

A study by Certify indicated that 73% of employees prefer using corporate cards for business purchases due to the convenience they offer.

What Expenses Are Allowed on Corporate Cards?

Corporate Card Policy Usages - WegoPro

While specific details will vary based on your company's policies, common allowable expenses on corporate cards include -

Business Travel - This encompasses flights, hotels, meals, ground transportation, and other travel-related costs incurred during business trips.

Office Supplies - This includes essential office items like printer cartridges, paper, pens, and toner cartridges.

Client Entertainment - Expenses associated with client meetings, dinners, or events to foster business relationships. Be sure to define allowable limits and require pre-approval for larger entertainment expenses.

Subscriptions and Memberships - Subscriptions to industry publications, software licenses, and professional association memberships that support employee productivity.

Professional Development Courses - Costs associated with training programs, workshops, and conferences that enhance employee skills and knowledge.

Industry-Specific Considerations: Certain industries may have specific regulations or limitations regarding expense categories. For instance, the entertainment expenses allowed for a sales representative might differ from those for a lawyer. It's important to tailor your policy to accommodate industry best practices and any relevant legal requirements.

Why Do Organizations Bank Upon Corporate Cards?

The benefits of implementing a corporate card program are numerous-

Reduced Administrative Burden - Eliminates the need for manual expense report processing and reimbursement procedures, saving valuable time and resources.

Improved Expense Visibility - Real-time tracking of corporate card spending provides greater financial control and facilitates budgeting.

Enhanced Employee Convenience - Employees don't need to use personal funds and wait for reimbursements, streamlining the expense process.

Fraud Protection - Corporate cards offer robust security features like chip technology and transaction monitoring to minimize fraudulent activities.

Rewards Programs - Some corporate cards offer rewards points or cashback on business purchases, generating additional value for the company.

A PayStream survey revealed that 82% of businesses using corporate cards gained better visibility into their spending.

How to Draft a Corporate Card Expense Policy?

Corporate Card Policy Expense Policy - WegoPro

Crafting an effective corporate card policy involves several key considerations-

Eligibility - Define who is eligible to receive a corporate card based on job role and spending needs. Consider factors like seniority, department, and spending history.

Approved Expenses - Clearly outline the types of expenses permitted for corporate card usage. Provide specific examples to avoid ambiguity.

Spending Limits - Set individual or departmental spending limits to control potential overspending. These limits should be reasonable and accommodate legitimate business needs.

Pre-approval Requirements - Determine whether certain purchases, such as high-value items or specific categories like entertainment, require prior management approval.

Receipt Retention - Specify the required format (physical or digital) and retention period for receipts. Digital receipts captured through expense management software can streamline this process.

Expense Reporting - Establish clear guidelines on deadlines and the process for submitting expense reports. Consider integrating expense management software for automated workflows.

Personal Use - Prohibit personal use of the corporate card with strict consequences for violations. Outline a disciplinary process for misuse.

Card Security - Educate employees on card safety measures and best practices to prevent unauthorized access. This includes strong password protocols, being cautious about phishing attempts, and reporting lost or stolen cards immediately.

Disciplinary Action - Outline the consequences for non-compliance with the policy. This could include warnings, suspension of card privileges, or disciplinary action.

Policy Review - Schedule periodic reviews of the policy to ensure its effectiveness and adapt based on company needs.  Consider factors like industry changes, employee feedback, and emerging technologies.

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11 Best Practices on Corporate Card Expense Policy

  1. Clarity is King - Use simple, concise language that all employees can comprehend. Avoid technical jargon and ensure the policy is easy to navigate.
  2. Accessibility Matters - Make the policy readily available online on the company intranet and in a physical format for easy reference. Employees should be able to access the policy quickly whenever a question arises.
  3. Employee Training is Key - Conduct mandatory training sessions to educate employees on corporate card usage, expense reporting, and fraud prevention. These sessions should be interactive and address common questions and scenarios.
  4. Embrace Automation - Leverage expense management software to streamline expense reporting and automate workflows. This can significantly reduce manual data entry, minimize errors, and expedite the approval process.
  5. Set Realistic Limits - Tailor spending limits to accommodate legitimate business needs while preventing excessive spending. Consider employee roles, job functions, and typical expense categories when setting limits.
  6. Prioritize Transparency - Encourage open communication regarding the corporate card program and the expense policy. Address employee concerns promptly and foster a culture of accountability for responsible spending.
  7. Regular Monitoring and Audits - Implement regular monitoring of card activity to identify suspicious transactions or potential misuse. Conduct periodic audits to ensure compliance with the policy and identify areas for improvement.
  8. Promote Responsible Spending - Encourage employees to be mindful of spending habits and focus on cost-effective business solutions. This may involve setting clear expectations and providing guidance on selecting vendors and negotiating prices.
  9. Embrace Incentives - Consider offering rewards or recognition for responsible card usage and timely expense reporting. This can incentivize employees to comply with the policy and contribute to a culture of financial responsibility.
  10. Flexibility with Justification - Allow for some flexibility for unforeseen circumstances. However, ensure employees provide proper justification and documentation for non-standard expenses that fall outside the policy's scope.
  11. Continuous Improvement - Regularly review and update your policy based on company growth, industry trends, and employee feedback. As your business evolves, the policy should adapt to reflect changing needs and best practices.

How WegoPro Can Help in Streamlining Corporate Card Expense Policy

WegoPro, a leading expense management solution, can significantly enhance your corporate card program. Here's how-

Simplified Expense Reporting

WegoPro integrates seamlessly with corporate cards, allowing employees to effortlessly capture receipts through mobile apps and submit expense reports electronically. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology automatically extracts data from receipts, further reducing manual work.

Automated Workflows

Streamline approvals and automate repetitive tasks like expense categorization and data entry. WegoPro can route expense reports for approval based on pre-defined rules, expediting the reimbursement process.

Real-time Visibility

Gain instant insights into corporate card spending through comprehensive dashboards and reports. WegoPro provides valuable data on spending trends, budget adherence, and potential areas for cost savings.

Enhanced Security

WegoPro offers robust security features to protect sensitive financial data. This includes encryption protocols, user access controls, and real-time transaction monitoring.

According to the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), businesses can lose an average of 5% of their annual revenue due to expense reporting errors and fraud.

Way Forward

Corporate Card Policy Implementation - WegoPro

By implementing a well-defined corporate card policy and leveraging solutions like WegoPro, organizations can transform their expense management practices. Here are some concluding thoughts -

Communication is Critical - Open communication regarding the policy and its benefits fosters employee buy-in and ensures successful program implementation. Conduct regular training sessions and address employee questions promptly.

Data-Driven Decisions - Leverage spending data generated through corporate cards to gain valuable insights into business spending patterns. WegoPro's analytics can inform budget allocation, identify cost-saving opportunities, and optimize vendor relationships.

Security Always - Prioritize robust security measures to protect against fraudulent activities. This includes partnering with reputable corporate card providers, utilizing WegoPro's security features, and enforcing strong password protocols for employee accounts.

Stay tuned to WegoPro for the latest corporate travel and expense management news and updates!