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In an environment of growing competition for small businesses, establishing processes around cost controls and spending visibility is an integral part of the path to profitability. Investors, regulators and long-term customers have expectations and demand for more disciplined spending in the relevant areas and growth oriented businesses are now turning to credit cards (commercial and personal) to help with their expense management process.

Top 6 ways credit card spending can reduce overall expenses

In the past, vendors had to first agree to accept your credit card payments.They would to go through a technical integration with an online payment gateway, get access to a merchant account and/or buy a physical point-of-sale device to accept credit cards. Now, with platforms like Reap, you’d be able to pay any business expenses even if the recipient didn’t accept credit cards.

We’ve highlighted a few main reasons businesses are turning to credit cards for expense payments to try and reduce their overall spend.

1. Retain cash for longer with built-in payment terms

We have previously written about the difference and importance of managing cash flow vs profit. Without being able to effectively retain cash, your business will struggle even if your profitability numbers look healthy. Credit card payments act as an alternative to supplier payment terms as there is no actual cash outflow for up to 60 days after the initial transaction. The extra liquidity here will enable you to further develop your business and build a health cash reserve in case any unexpected expenses come up. Cash is still king!

2. Establish creditworthiness with your suppliers

Supplier payment terms are becoming harder to come by as many suppliers are also trying to improve cash flow by getting payment up front. Especially for new supplier relationships, where creditworthiness may not be established just yet, credit card payments are an easy way to for suppliers to receive guaranteed payments in a safe and secure way. This goes a long way to help your business improve the relationship you have with your suppliers and service providers.

3. Get access to potential supplier discounts

For suppliers that do provide discounts for early payment (typical terms include “net 10,” “net 30,” or even “net 60.”), you would be able to pay bills early, get a discount and improve your company’s bottom line immediately without ever tapping into your precious cash resources.

4. Simplify reporting and reconciliation

As you grow your team, having oversight into the various channels of spending (cheques, cash, bank transfer, etc.) can be very troublesome and time consuming. Centralizing your spend to credit cards reduces the administrative cost related to the layers of reconciliation that you or your accounting team would have to perform. By consolidating all your expense payments to credit cards, you would have better visibility into different expense categories (eg. office supplies) and start building the purchasing power to negotiate volume discounts with larger suppliers.

5. Get visibility into employee spending

Giving employees access to your personal or corporate credit card can you give you more control and visibility when it comes to business expenditure. You can also easily share credit card information securely using apps like 1password. Virtual card numbers (VCNs) also allows you to set individual limits and authorize transactions for specific expense types so you’d have even more flexibility.

6. Get more cashback, Asia Miles and rewards

Credit card rewards has an always been an important consideration in the consumer payment experience. How often have we chosen a specific restaurant or card to maximize our points? As you move more spending to your credit cards for business use, these rebates can add up very quickly. Some companies are able to use the rebates from cashback to reinvest in company offsites and perks for employees. At a minimum, being able to get free upgrades for business travel by using your Asia Miles wouldn’t hurt either!

在競爭越趨激烈的營商環境中,小企業想有利可圖,最重要的一環是要做好成本控制和在處理開支時做到賬目分明。投資者、監管機構和長期客戶都會期望並要求你在用錢時不要胡亂揮霍且用得其所。而以增長為目標的企業現在都紛紛轉用信用卡(商業和個人)令他們在管理開支的流程上更為妥善。

使用信用卡消費同時節省整體開支的6大優點

以往,產品供應商要先同意接受你使用信用卡付款。接著他們會做技術整合以開通網上支付渠道,繼而取得商戶編號和/或購買接受信用卡的器材於銷售門市使用。現在,有了類似Reap這類網上平台,即使收款人不願意接受信用卡,你亦可以在網上繳付各種各樣的營運開支

我們列出了幾個主要原因,重點講解企業轉用信用卡付費時如何做到同時節省整體開支。

1.   運用既定的付款方式,現金長期在手

我們在較早前的文章提及到管理現金流的重要性,亦闡明了良好的現金流與企業賺錢與否是兩碼子的事。如果無法有效地留住現金,即使盈利理想,你的企業在營運上亦會困難重重。以信用卡繳交賬項可以說是應對供應商付款要求的另類方案,因為在確認交易後最多60天內,實際上都沒有現金流出。這額外的流動資金讓你能進一步拓展業務並建立健康的現金儲備以應付突如其來的開支。現金仍然是王道!

2.   與供應商建立可靠信譽

供應商要求的付費條款可算是越來越苛刻,許多供應商甚至試圖以預先付款的方式來改善他們的現金流。特別是面對新供應商時,雙方尚未建立互信關係,以信用卡付費便成了一個簡易的途徑,確保供應商可以在安全可靠的情況下收取應得款項。長遠而言,你的企業與產品供應商或服務供應商的關係便能好好改善。

3.   更大機會獲取供應商提供的折扣

有些供應商會提供折扣去鼓勵客戶提早付款(常見的條款有“出貨後10天內付款”,“出貨後30天內付款”,甚至“出貨後60天內付款”),你可以選擇提前支付款項以享用折扣優惠,同時在無需動用你的寶貴現金資源的情況下即時改善企業的賬面利潤。

4.   簡化財務報告和核對賬目的煩惱

當你的團隊日益壯大,要監督多種支賬渠道(支票、現金、銀行轉賬等)時就變得非常煩瑣且費時失事。將你的開支集中以信用卡來繳付的話,你或你的會計部同事便無需再為繁重的核數工作而煩惱,從而節省行政開支。將所有開支整合到信用卡,你的不同賬項和消費類別都會變得一目了然(例如︰辦公室用品),你更可以開始按你的購買力在與大型供應商大量入貨時爭取更多折扣優惠。

5.   更了解員工的消費狀況

讓員工使用你的私人或公司信用卡能讓你更有效去掌控和更透徹地了解公司的開支。你亦可透過1password等手機程式,以簡易和安全的方法與員工分享信用卡資料。Virtual card numbers (VCNs)亦同時容讓你設定每個員工可使用的信用額,甚至對特定的開支類別設定交易權限,這樣你在管理上便更靈活輕鬆了。

6.   取得更多現金回贈、亞洲萬里通里數及其他消費獎賞

信用卡消費獎賞一向是消費者在選擇付款模式時的一個重要考量。我們是否經常為了賺取積分而選擇到某些特定餐廳消費呢?當你在業務營運層面上轉用信用卡後,你會發現賺取信用卡獎賞的速度加快很多。有些公司甚至可以把現金回贈得來的金錢重新投資在公司其他的業務之上或當作福利回饋員工。最低限度,在工幹時可以運用你賺取的飛行里數換取免費升級體驗亦可說是百利而無一害。

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