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August 18, 2009


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Actually, I can understand that. I only keep a little money in my checking account - between $100 and $200 usually. I often forget to take our joint checkbook to Costco, and end up using my ATM card...and having to watch that I don't overspend. (Which keeps the Costco bill down. Haha!)

Like many people here, I don't use cash. I charge everything to get the cash back rewards. I only keep enough cash in my checking account for gas at Costco, basically. I'd rather have as much of my money as possible earning money rather than sitting in a checking account doing nothing.

Very weird that all of these companies essentially asked you to front your own money (in the form of cash or credit) in order to conduct their business. They shouldn't ask employees to do that IMO. I'm sure there are plenty of examples where the employer has folded and the person is out thousands of dollars.

Small companies often have employees front the expenses and small companies often don't have corporate cards. That's ok by me if I get the points but you do need to keep an eye on company cash flow to make sure you don't get screwed.

Learned this the hard way when at 27, I was working for a start up that folded. I had $3K worth of outstanding expenses that were in the mail when this happened - I was a remote worker. Everyone got checks from the company but when mine came the bounced even though I cashed them the same day they arrived. I kept my laptop and printer as collateral and eventually one of the early investors wrote a check for 80 cents on the dollar to me. I talked to the CFO about this and he said to go ahead and keep the laptop & printer... it was a mess as the fixed asset system was not strong and the liquidators didn't know who had what...

Funny times in hindsight. At the time it was really annoying.


We have this issue daily here. Staff is asked to pay for travel expenses out of pocket. Sometimes I know that staff waits until pay day to pay for a trip when they could get it cheaper if it was charged on a company card. I think it's a silly way to do business.

And I think it's unfair to have to explain why you can't make a purchase that isn't even your responsibility. Why should anybody explain why they can't write a check? (Although, why he would have driven to Costco without a clear way to pay is also silly).

I just don't think I should have to pay for company expenses, especially travel, renting cars or hotel rooms. I'm not traveling for me - I'm traveling for the company.

I make a point to use the CFO's company card. It's my form of protest for this particular issue.

My (v large) firm switched to corporate credit cards for Travel about 2 years ago.

It's better than our old system which was that we all paid for travel out-of-pocket/on our personal credit cards and were reimbursed later when we presented the receipts.

I do wonder what they do about employees who don't have the credit score to get a credit card, though. Also, we've switched card vendors once already in 2 yrs--a painful process that involved recalling and reissuing 20,000 cards and getting employees to use the right one at the right time.

The current cards are linked online to an off-site computerized web-based receipt intake system (Concur). We had a huge amoung of problems getting personnel trained to use Concur (it is very user-unfriendly and also the software is full of bugs) but Concur came in and ran training sessions so that helped. Although the process works fairly well now, it is easy for my secretary to type in the wrong amount on one of the many many Concur dialog boxes. It's such a pain to correct that I usually don't bother and just write a check. Another problem we have had is that the credit card company (currently AmEx) was sending threatening collection emails to employees regarding unpaid balances before the employees had received the bills by mail and had a chance to repay them.

IMO, it's extremely foolish to use a corporate card to pay for anything personal, let alone running up an unpaid balance that your manager has to speak to you about! Reputation at your workplace is worth a huge amount--why risk yours on something so stupid?

Very bad practice for a company to make employees front their travel expenses. Either means they do not have the resources to implement a normal travel policy, or their cash flow is very tight. Either way, the employee is on the hook if the company doesn't pay for whatever reason. Not a good position to be in.

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