Corporate Credit Cards: Is the Cheque Dead?

What can kill paperwork, give better controls, speed up purchasing and, best of all, save money? Corporate credit cards. The little piece of plastic has exploded across the business world in the last decade. So much so, that some wonder how long it will be until the humble printed cheque is extinct.

“Corporate credit card use has grown significantly over the last 10 years,” says Steve D’Alessandro, a certified general accountant, and vice-president, finance, CGA Ontario.
“More and more businesses have identified corporate credit cards as an opportunity to tap into efficiencies in payment administration, as well as affinity points which can take the form of discounts and which can be earned on a broader array of expenditures beyond what had previously been contained primarily to retail point-of-sale purchases.”

The numbers say it all. AlliedSignal, a US company, eliminated processing of more than 211,000 paper transactions in one year when it switched to a corporate credit card system in the 1990s. American Express helped a provincial government realize savings of between 6%-14% on travel costs by benchmarking their employee credit card expenses on hotels, air fare, car rentals and other costs.

Corporate credit cards are smarter, faster and more in tune with today’s wired business world than the humble printed cheque.

“A single payment in settlement of a corporate credit card account balance can replace several individual payments to several other vendors, by consolidating purchasing activity onto corporate credit cards,” says D’Alessandro.

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Aidan O’Keeffe
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