Corporate credit cards are a very convenient solution
During the epidemic, non-cash payment methods are even more promoted than before. It is the safest solution to facilitate making necessary payments in a non-contact form. In addition, some cards also allow you to make payments in online stores – quickly, easily and securely.
So what’s the point? In the last stage. We make a card purchase, goods or services are delivered to us or our company. We are glad that everything went so modern and smoothly. Now accounting department will settle this expense and the job is done …
But will it actually settle it? Unfortunately, they will often not settle… or will have a big billing problem with it. But why? There can be at least several reasons.
Reason 1 – we don’t have the document
The mere fact that the payment was made with a company card will not cause automatically that the invoice or the bill regarding the purchase will come into your possession (and even more so in to possession of your accounting dept). Unfortunately, we must take care of the document when making the purchase, preferably before it. If possible, please try to find out how such a document will look like before clicking “pay”. Will it be possible to obtain it and in what form? When making a purchase online, I suggest creating an account on the store’s website. If choosing the so-called incidental purchase – accurate and conscious completion of the purchase form is absolutely necessary. An account on the store’s website facilitates possible subsequent contact with the store – e.g. when we accidentally provide incorrect company details. In the contact form, we should provide company details (full name, address, tax identification number) and usually an e-mail address to which, after the purchase, the document confirming the purchase will be sent (an invoice or bill). Please pay special attention to provide correct mail address – on this email address will be sent our desired document. In addition, it is worth considering to always provide the same e-mail address – it will facilitate searching for the document if you forget something.
Unfortunately, I’m not aware of any application that would automatically collect documents when making a purchase using a company credit / debit card – if they exist, please let me know their names. However, there are applications that facilitate the circulation of documents themselves, once we have them (sending, acceptance of the superior, etc.).
Reason 2 – the document includes incorrect data
The simplest way to remember what kind of info should be given when we ask for invoice or bill is that whenever possible, invoices or bills should be issued on a name and address of our company. I mean: full company name, company address, company tax identification number. Yes, I know – there are exceptions to this rule, but it works in the overwhelming majority of cases. If in doubt, it’s better to contact the accounting department – trust me, they’ll be grateful that you asked before buying something, and not after the purchase…
Reason 3 – we made a purchase from a foreign contractor and our company’s NIP number was not preceded by additional letters “PL”
Contractors like Google, Facebook, Canva etc. also issue invoices. In Poland, however, they are not registered for VAT purposes. Therefore, in the light of tax regulations, we make a purchase from a foreign entity. Leave the tax classification of the purchase to accountants and tax advisers. Nevertheless, to make their work easier, you should add the letters “PL” before the NIP number of your company. We should also provide all other necessary details, such as the full name of the company and its address. EU countries exchange information on intra-Community transactions, and EU tax authorities identify companies on the basis of numbers that can be found in the so-called VIES database (https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/?locale=pl). In reference to Poland, these are NIP numbers preceded by the letters PL.
Reason 4 – late delivery of documents regarding expenses made with company cards
Cards should be settled at least once a month. In most companies, there is an established policy regarding how often you should provide documents regarding business expenses. It is worth sticking to these rules. If such rules do not exist it’s absolutely necessarily to establish them. It is a mobilizing element and facilitates the work of all parties involved and moreover prevents unnecessary tensions on the line accounting – other departments. Often, late delivery of documents to the accounting department causes the need to make corrections of tax returns and crates a lot of additional, completely unnecessary work. Regular delivery of documents also allows you to capture situations in which a person who uses the card misuses it. Unfortunately, such situations also happen.
Card settlements – a seemingly trivial task
The above information may seem trivial, however, in from my experience, many holders of company cards forget about them or are not aware of them. I understand that – usually, no one gets this information when they get the card. Awareness often comes with time, e.g. after several serious conversations with the accounting department. Sometimes it ends up in recognizing a given expense as a private expense and an obligation to settle it yourself. These are unpleasant and stressful situations, both for the people reporting such problem and for the card holder himself.
The above list does not exhaust all possibilities, but it is a synthesis of those that I most often dealt with in my professional work. Are there others? For sure. I will gladly find out what is your experience in this topic, and what else we should look out for. As we all know, a human being, especially an accountant, never stops learning.