Maximize manager training.

Are key P-Card messages reaching the management personnel who oversee cardholders? How strong is your training for this important group? Managers are the first line of defense against cardholder fraud and misuse. Prior to anyone fulfilling the “manager-approver” role, training should be mandatory. Some organizations are reluctant to take this step. Others enforce it, but could benefit from doing a fresh-eyes review of what they offer. Keep reading to learn more about the role and acquire tips to help you ensure manager training is effective.

About the Role

First, do you clearly define the manager-approver role? As a best practice, this person should be at least one functional job level higher than the cardholders they oversee. In the case of executive cardholders, the board of directors or similar group should provide oversight. Read about a case of executive card fraud, which demonstrates the importance of holding executives accountable.

Overall, manager-approvers serve as a key control. Communicate that their sign off on a cardholder’s transactions represents that:

  • transactions are for legitimate business purchases
  • the cardholder complied with applicable policies and procedures
  • there is appropriate supporting documentation for each transaction
Do not leave the delivery of important messages to chance. Design manager training to fit their role and schedules.

Do not leave the delivery of important messages to chance. Design manager training to fit their role and schedules.

Training Tips

In a September 2015 blog post, I offered nine tips to help managers be a successful part of a Commercial Card program. One tip was: Specifically design training for managers; make it relevant. While they need to understand the cardholder’s role, too, they do not need to learn the same details. To expand on this tip, they do not necessarily need to know details about declined transactions, initiating a dispute, placing an order, etc. (but cardholder training, as well as the program policies and procedures manual, should cover these topics).

Examples of content relevant to managers include:

  • Why the organization has a card program and the benefits gained; this is important for obtaining their buy-in up front
  • What their role entails 
  • How to review/approve transactions 
  • What cards should be used for
  • Prohibited purchases
  • Prohibited practices (e.g., splitting transactions to circumvent single purchase limits)
  • Supporting documentation requirements
  • Red flag behaviors that could indicate cardholder fraud; learn more
  • What to do if they spot or suspect fraud/misuse

In addition, consider the format and duration. To prevent scheduling challenges associated with classroom-style training, offer an online option that managers can pursue at their convenience. Avoid making it too long. They should be able to complete it within an hour.

Even though making separate, initial P-Card training for managers is extra work (hopefully a one-time effort that only requires minimal updates on a go-forward basis), it can pay off. Envision increased manager satisfaction and improved compliance.

What can you do to improve manager training?

See what else Recharged Education offers on the topic of training.

About the Author

Blog post author Lynn Larson, CPCP, is the founder of Recharged Education. With more than 15 years of Commercial Card experience, her mission is to make industry education readily accessible to all. Learn more

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