A recent story that should be of interest to
fleet managers and small business owners in general showed up in the
news earlier last week, where a former employee was arrested for
accumulating thousands of dollars in personal charges on a company card.
Tami Nation Trull, who used to work at the
Sunshine House school in Greenwood, South Carolina, was brought into
custody by authorities after running up personal charges on an American
Express Business Card and a Wright Express fleet fuel card.
Trull had worked for the company for 10 years and
had access to the company card as a part of her job where she made
travel arrangements for other employees, but over time had used these
cards to pay for items for herself and family members that included
airfare, hotel rooms, rental cards, tickets to a variety of events,
meals and much more. Trull’s charges quickly added up to more then
$20,000 in unauthorized expenses.
Unfortunately for you and your business, hearing stories like these are not that uncommon. The
challenge is being able to trust employees–especially if they’ve worked
with you for as many years as Trull had for her company–but also
creating a system of accountability so that there is more than one
person looking at what is being spent on your cards.
For fleet managers in particular, entrusting a
number of drivers with gas cards can prove to be a challenge. However,
many fleet fuel cards allow you to monitor spending and put controls on
what can and cannot be purchased on your company’s card. If you’re not
already set up and working with these controls, be sure to contact your
fleet card provider as soon as possible to ask about how to set them up.
The Sunshine House would also have benfitted from a corporate lodging card.
Similar to a fleet card, a corporate lodging card will set restrictions
on the types of hotels your employees can stay at (since they may want
to stay at the W, but the travel budget is more Best Western) as well
as electronically audit your hotel bill before your card is charged.
You’ll sleep better at night knowing there’s one more layer of protection over your company’s expenses.