How do you turn a good P-Card program into a great P-Card program? Check out these five “best practices” for helping make your P-Card system a success!
Start your P-Card program right, right from the start
A great P-Card program comes from doing great research even before implementation begins. Doing your homework upfront will mean a better experience overall. Consider how your P-Card program is going to complement your already existing payment system. Examine both the pros and cons of using P-Cards. Decide now what you want from your P-Card system. Create policies and procedures that will help you reach those goals.
Test it out
Whether you implement a completely new program, or you are simply adding a new policy or procedure to an existing program, it helps to do a test run. Before you completely revise or introduce a P-Card program to your company, do a pilot program involving a smaller group of individuals first to see how well the program works. Think of this as your “beta” phase — an opportunity to identify problems and get the “bugs” out of your P-Card program before it’s fully implemented into your company’s expense program.
Educate everybody often
Nothing improves a P-Card program as much as education does. For a P-Card program to be truly successful, training is a must — for everyone. Training is not just for the cardholder. It is also necessary for those who oversee and manage the program. And it’s not a “one-time” deal either. Run a “refresher” course for all program participants at least annually, to review old policies and learn about any new ones. All the while, make it clear to your employees that training is mandatory every time for everyone involved.
As with most aspects of business, better communication will mean a better P-Card program. Keep the lines of communication open internally, with your P-Card users and management, and externally with your P-Card supplier and those from whom you purchase. Policies and procedures should be available to all involved in a written form at a moment’s notice. Create a website or web page where all information pertinent to the program can be stored, maintained, and assimilated digitally, to optimize and expedite distribution and save costs.
Evaluate the system
If you already have a P-Card program but never took the time to research it, now’s the time to take a moment to step back and see how it’s working and what problems need to be addressed. Even if you did a good job researching your program before you started, it’s worthwhile to re-evaluate the system on a regular basis, for exactly the same reasons.
For more ideas on how to boost your card program, consider a Card Integrity solution: