The potential for employee theft is an ongoing worry for many business owners, especially for those with employees that need to refuel company vehicles. Owners and managers can't be everywhere all the time, which leaves company purchases unsupervised. Implementing a fuel card program helps prevent fraud and abuse by monitoring transactions and implementing purchase controls that would be impossible with other forms of payment. These programs can also reduce costs and help businesses operate more efficiently. Here are ten ways your business can benefit from these programs.
1) Purchase Controls
The use of fuel cards for business expenses ensures strict purchase controls from the start. All transactions require the driver to input a personal identification number (PIN) so you can easily track expenditures, and limits can be set for many parameters, including dollars per transaction; number of transactions per day; dollars per day, week, and month; and time restrictions like time of day and day of week. Managers will have complete control over how cards are used.
2) Alerts and E-Receipts
If managers find purchase controls too restrictive, there are other options to manage purchases in ways that will not inconvenience drivers. You can set alerts for types of transactions you’d like to closely monitor, like weekend or after hour purchases. In addition to time-based alerts, you can also set notifications for when purchases are made outside of a certain geographic area, or be emailed if drivers don’t fuel at a designated site. You can even protect your diesel vehicles with an alert if unleaded fuel is purchased.
3) Level III Data
It’s critical to receive Level III data for fuel purchases, and some cards allow for detailed records that can help prevent theft. Level I and II transaction data is present, but Level III data provides additional actionable information for management, such as vehicle and driver identification, miles-per-gallon (MPG) and cost-per-mile (CPM).
4) Universal Coverage
To reduce the costs of driver time and vehicle operation, use the most convenient and low-priced fuel stations accessible with a universal fuel card. These cards give drivers access up to 320,000 fuel and maintenance locations nationwide. With universal coverage, drivers can easily refuel anywhere along their routes and shop across brands for the lowest prices.
5) Centralized Billing
Accounting processes can be streamlined and centralized billing is available. If your fleet is operating out of multiple locations, you can get a central billing statement as well as individual branch invoices. Local personnel get the information they need while corporate management has a complete picture of their purchases.
6) Online Account Management
All card-related issues can be managed online, including updating or canceling existing cards, making card orders, downloading driver or vehicle usage reports and viewing historical invoices and transactions. Whether you have a small business fleet or a Fortune 1000 company, online account access is essential to effectively manage your fuel program.
7) Custom Reports
Fuel card reporting can be customized to fit various management needs. Choose exception reports, department reports to simply fuel expense allocation, owner-operator reports, off-road reports for tax refunds, among other reporting options.
8) Electronic Data Files
Import transactions directly into your management and accounting systems. Electronic data files can be customized to fit all software requirements, and you can generate pivot tables in Excel to run essential reports, tracking fuel spend by vehicle, driver, and even state.
9) Fuel Tax Exemptions
Receive fuel tax exemptions at the time of purchase, if your fleet qualifies, to eliminate the need for refund filing. Exemptions can cover federal and state excise taxes as well as partial sales tax exemptions for agricultural fleets based in California.
10) Discount Network
Enjoy discounts from participating sites to lower your overall costs.
Topic: Fuel Cards