You reviewed last month’s credit statement and noticed Andrew used his company card for personal errands.
The responsibility of having a company credit card requires a certain amount of trust that an employee will use that resource properly and not abuse the company’s line of credit on items that are not business related. Larger corporations may have a dedicated administrator in charge of monitoring the use of company-issued credit cards, but in most smaller enterprises, that duty usually falls on a member of the administrative staff. This can cause awkward situations where an administrative assistant finds themselves forced to confront someone in a higher position regarding the latest credit card bill. If you find yourself in this situation, remember to be diplomatic and avoid jumping to conclusions or making serious allegations until you’ve uncovered as many facts as possible.
Once you’ve reviewed the company’s credit records and identified suspicious charges, the next step is to provide highlighted copies of those statements to whichever staff member or department may need them. This could include the finance/accounting team or a member of the HR staff as well as the offending employee. Once the hard evidence has been gathered, it’s important to schedule a meeting with the individual to go over the inappropriate charges, reiterate the company credit card policy, gauge their level of remorse, and determine the necessary next steps.
After you’ve consulted with the appropriate team members and reviewed the charges with the employee, you must initiate whatever response fits the infraction. If there was no ill intent and the card was misused unintentionally then the remedy is as simple as repeating the company’s guidelines and making a note in the person’s HR file that they’ve been warned about credit card misuse. If the charges were made on purpose and with full understanding of the company’s policies then harsher punishment may be in order and you will most likely need to confer with the HR department and/or senior leadership to devise what the next steps should be. Depending upon what state you work in, charges that run into the thousands may require you to also contact the police.
Although using a company credit card for personal purchases is not quite the same as stealing money from work, it’s incredibly close. Even if the charges can be chalked up to ignorance of company policies or an innocent mistake, it still must be taken seriously because a lack of oversight can create a culture where employees feel it’s completely acceptable to abuse the company’s credit.
Lynda Moultry Belcher – How to Handle Credit Card Misuse Among Employees