An effective Purchasing Card Program can add significant value to a company through cost savings, simplicity, and reporting transparency. Successful implementations require proper planning and execution to avoid sub-optimal or possibly negative ramifications.
Recent Peeriosity Benchmarking of organizational structures indicated that the vast majority of companies have their Shared Services organizations manage their Purchasing Card programs:
The support model most often chosen is by country, although many have indicated that as card providers gain the capability for regional and global support, their support models will follow. Peeriosity members have indicated that while many banks are providing global programs to consolidate scale, card support services within the provider organization (the bank) are generally country-specific.
The majority of organizations source Purchasing Card Programs with company employees, however, a few have outsourced and others have hybrid-sourcing models.
Within the Peeriosity Card Management research area, a number of key practices have been identified by Shared Services organizations that have implemented successful Purchasing Card programs. Some of these practices include:
- Consolidating purchasing and travel cards to maximize rebates and for user convenience (“OneCard” program).
- Use of virtual or “ghost” cards.
- Clearly documented, well communicated, and enforced card use policy.
- An effective card audit process that flags suspicious transactions and non-compliance.
- Electronic receipt management (where required).
- Enhanced rebate programs.
- Global savings leverage with local service flexibility.
- Simple, easy-to-access user information.
- Automated reporting and general ledger account coding
- Leveraging services from your card provider
How is your company’s Purchasing Card program managed and how is it supported?
Who are your peers and how are you collaborating with them?