Corporate Credit Cards – A Necessity in the Business World |

Corporate credit cards are almost a necessity in the business world. They can be used for a variety of purposes including paying suppliers and vendors, travel expenses for corporate, travel, maintaining office supplies and stationary, and for making the million little purchases that a business required on a day by day basis.

There are many advantages to using corporate credit cards, not the least being that nobody has to carry wads of cash around to make minor purchases. Corporate credit cards also provide a great way to track expenses by item and by individual. Some corporate credit cards like American Express will even provide detailed reports on business travel so that the company can monitor its travel patterns and make adjustments that can result in large savings.

Corporate credit cards are also another record of expenditure that can be traced and followed up on if there is a problem or discrepancy noted during a review or audit. Accountants love this back up system of receipts and the ability to identify every single purpose makes the jobs of the auditors much easier as well.

If there is a downside to corporate credit cards it is on the aspect of possible abuse and even fraud by employees using the corporate credit cards. Some companies have been misled by their employees who have used the corporate credit cards for non business related expenditures. These errors have not been identified because employees delayed filing expense reports and in some cases the employees were long gone before their actions had been discovered.

To prevent these situations from arising there needs to be a firm company policy about the use of corporate credit cards and discipline for those who abuse this privilege. Every employee who receives a corporate credit card should be given an orientation on its proper use and know the consequences if they do not follow these procedures. Most companies also limit the number of corporate credit cards in distribution and also require approval before using the corporate credit cards over a certain amount that is tied to the duties and responsibilities of the employee’s position with the business.

Corporate credit cards can be a very useful tool for any corporation, business, or even small business. They can allow a company to operate without using cash and without having to use their own money to do business. Corporate credit cards are available from all major banks, credit unions, and from the credit card companies themselves. There are a variety of options and rate plans to choose from and each business should review this carefully before selecting corporate credit cards for their operation.

Just remember to build in checks and controls to limit and avoid employee abuse and corporate credit cards will be an important asset for any business.

Budget Travel and Hotel Considerations – Travel Industry Making Changes To Compete For Consumers |

If you are like most Americans, you having difficulty saving money while prices are rapidly increasing; things like college tuition, food and fuel. So, when it comes to traveling you are looking to shave off costs and find ways to travel on a budget, and well, no one can blame you for that. What you may not be aware of or have not considered is that in the travel business; everything from airlines and rent-a-cars to tourist destinations and hotels are trying to find better ways to accommodate the budget traveler.

For instance, many airlines have had their fuel prices boosted to record costs and many family budget and business travel hotels are making changes in management and in their operations. Recently, Choice Hotels named a new COO and President; Stephen P. Joyce, 48. Additionally they named a new Executive VP of Global Branding. Why, because they know that they must hold their American clientele and find ways to cut costs, while still attracting their overseas travelers who are paying in high valued currencies.

There are many ways to cut costs in traveling and staying on a budget and hotels, rental car agencies and airlines are working very hard to compete for fewer travelers with fewer dollars, while still retaining a profit. Easier said than done, especially when jet fuel has almost tripled in cost since 2000 and recently the number of families traveling on vacation is being cut by a good 35% this summer, all due to cash strapped consumers, credit crisis and outrageous fuel costs. Airline Industry analysts are predicting one or maybe two major airlines filing bankruptcy in 2009 and some hotel chains have pulled back construction of new hotels in many locations.