The trifecta of Commercial Card program management is the program manager/administrator (PM/PA), procurement, and accounts payable (AP). However, the latter two might get overlooked when program roles are developed. Does your organization assign specific card-related responsibilities to procurement and AP? They can fulfill an important support function, regardless of which department the PM/PA resides in. Even though department roles vary from one organization to the next, you still can ensure the following 12 tasks are assigned to an appropriate party. Your card program will benefit from everyone working together.
Program success is dependent on supplier acceptance of Commercial Cards. Procurement (or a related department) should:
- Address card acceptance in competitive bids/RFPs
- Specify card-related terms in supplier contracts; for example, prohibit surcharges for card acceptance and mandate compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
- Notify AP about card-accepting suppliers
AP is in a gatekeeper position to uphold policies and/or contracts concerning payment method. They should:
- Remove card-accepting suppliers from the master vendor file (unless there is a good reason, along with accompanying controls, to pay a particular supplier more than one way)
- Not set up new suppliers in the master vendor file until they verify the intended payment method
- Refuse to process check requests for suppliers that accept cards
- Reduce the frequency of check runs to encourage supplier acceptance of electronic payments
Tasks for both procurement and AP include the following.
- Contribute to the establishment of, or updates to, an internal “payments policy”
- Train their staff on their card-related roles and responsibilities
- Monitor suppliers/payments to ensure card payments occur as expected
- Look for additional opportunities to use cards—plastic or virtual—based on payment history
- Track the impact of card payments (e.g., process savings, PO reduction, etc.), which helps fuel program metrics
How many of the 12 things noted herein does your organization consistently do? How can you strengthen program support roles? See also a related blog post on how management needs to address two aspects of the staff members (like procurement and AP) responsible for executing the organization’s payment plan.
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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