Corporate cards

How can virtual cards simplify employee expense reporting?

Apr 05, 2024

Managing the expenses made by the employees of a company has always been a difficult task.

Now, with the emergence of digital nomads and remote work culture, this task has become even harder. As a solution to this more and more businesses around the globe are switching to virtual cards as their preferred method of payment.

Virtual employee expense management cards have become a huge hit due to their security, usability, and easy management. These cards are the future of employee expense management.

Advantages of virtual cards for employee expense reporting

Faster and more efficient expense reporting

By using virtual cards for employee expense reporting you can experience much faster and more efficient expense reporting. Every expense made using these cards by your employees is tracked and recorded in real-time.

Employees no longer have to submit long, cumbersome expense reports by using these cards.

Improved accuracy and transparency

When virtual cards are used for employee payments and purchases the degree of accuracy and transparency over financial data is much higher.

This is because each purchase and all the important information associated with that purchase are recorded and stored in real time.

Reduced administrative costs

Using virtual cards can also help eliminate much of the manual administrative processes and associated costs from your business’s expense management system.

You will have to employ and pay for much lesser manpower, process much lesser paperwork, and deal with much fewer errors.

Increased control and visibility

Virtual cards come with features that can help significantly boost the degree of control and visibility you can exercise over employee expenditure.

Not only are all your expenses tracked and recorded in real time but you also get access to a variety of spending controls that you can customize and set up to control spending behavior.

Enhanced security

The best part about using virtual cards is the level of safety and security they provide. When you have virtual cards at your disposal there will be no need to carry your original physical credit card around.

Additionally, you can customize how your virtual cards can be used as per company expense policies.

Improved employee satisfaction

Virtual cards make for a much more manageable payment process and an even smoother expense reporting process. They take a lot of burden off of employees' shoulders.

Employees will no longer have to carry around receipts or file cumbersome paper reports. This is bound to improve employee morale and satisfaction.

Best practices for using virtual cards in expense reporting

1. Establish clear expense policies

If you want your employees to use their virtual cards appropriately, without misuse, then you must establish and enforce clear-cut expense policies.

You can incorporate these policies into the spend controls you set on your virtual cards.

2. Set spending limits

Virtual cards typically come with a feature that lets you set limits on how much can be spent using each card. This is a great feature that helps manage spending and curb overspending.

You only need to lead these cards with the amount that needs to be spent and set limits on that amount.

3. Use real-time reporting

The real-time reporting feature of virtual employee expense management cards is another powerful tool that can benefit your business a lot.

By using real-time reporting features you can maintain complete and constant control over company spending.

4. Centralize expense reporting

By centralizing your expense reporting processes you can reduce a lot of manual work for both your employees as well as your finance and accounting departments.

Using virtual cards is a great way to do this because all your transactions are recorded and consolidated on your spend management system.

5. Monitor card usage

When using virtual cards one of the best practices you can adopt is to monitor all issued virtual cards for employee expense reporting.

By monitoring the how, when, and where of virtual card usage you can ensure that not a single penny of your company’s money is spent in an unauthorized or fraudulent manner.

6. Train employees

As payment tools, virtual cards might relatively new to your typical employee. They might find it difficult to navigate using these cards to their best potential.

To make sure this does not happen you could hold periodic training sessions and keep a user manual available to help employees who might have difficulties understanding how to use the virtual cards.

7. Choose a reputable provider

When choosing a virtual card provider reputation is an important factor to keep in mind.

You should conduct thorough market research, attend multiple demos and review both online and offline reviews of providers to pick only that provider which is both reputable and suited to your business needs and requirements.

8. Protect sensitive information

Even though virtual cards are highly secure digital payment tools you can, however, never be safe enough.

Virtual employee expense management cards are linked to your original physical credit card which in turn contains sensitive information related to your company’s finances.

You should only choose a virtual card provider that guarantees the safety of sensitive information and keeps no room for errors.

Steps to successful adoption of virtual cards for expense management

Step 1: Set clear goals and expectations

If you are to set your company up for the successful adoption of virtual cards for expense management you first need to establish what goals you wish to achieve with the help of these cards as well as what expectations you hold from the virtual cards.

Before getting a virtual card provider on board you should first survey your current business practices and identify the areas that will benefit the most from using virtual cards for payments.

Additionally, you should also set clear standards for what you expect from the use of these cards.

Step 2: Identify the right virtual card provider

There are numerous virtual card providers available in the market today. Not all providers will give you the same set of features at the same price level. There will be differences in terms of product offerings.

What you need to do is an identity which of these offerings is best suited to fulfill the needs and requirements of your business.

You should conduct thorough market research, survey different providers and offerings and go over online as well as offline reviews before you onboard a virtual card provider.

Step 3: Implement effective communication

Effective and efficient communication is key to the proper implementation and utilization of virtual cards in a company. You need to properly communicate all important information related to the virtual card use to all your employees.

This involves communicating how to use the cards best, how different departments may be assigned cards and budgets, how to go about changing important card information so on and so forth.

You should also encourage seamless communication between different card users to ensure proper utilization of company resources.

Step 4: Monitor usage and performance

As we’ve already discussed, monitoring and tracking your company’s virtual card usage and performance is the best practice for using virtual cards for employee expense reporting.

This practice is also critical to the successful adoption of virtual cards for expense management.

By monitoring usage, you can gauge exactly how effective the virtual cards are, where card usage can be made more seamless, and how to prevent cases of unauthorized or fraudulent usage.

Step 5: Provide training and support

If you want your company as well as your employees to make the most out of the virtual cards they have at their disposal then you must provide adequate training and support.

You could hold periodic training sessions, provide user manuals and guide employee spending by monitoring them.

How can Volopay help your business manage employee expenses?

Volopay’s unique yet comprehensive platform works as the ultimate set of tools that can make employee expense management for your company much smoother than it currently is.

With Volopay you get access to a full suite of expense management tools. This includes features such as invoice management, multi-level approval workflows, accounting automation, automated payments and so much more.

The virtual cards Volopay provides can be used for a variety of purposes. These cards can serve as travel cards, burner cards, department cards, recurring payment cards and so much more.

You can issue an unlimited number of virtual Volopay cards at no added cost whatsoever. These cards can eliminate most of your reimbursement processes.

For reimbursements that cannot be managed with virtual cards Volopay also provides easy-to-navigate expense reimbursement features.

Simplify all your business expenses with Volopay corporate cards