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Touring Expenses

Aug 21, 2013 3:18 PM, By Michael K. Noles

6 reasons why to use a prepaid expense card program.


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With a strong need to control expenses and limit risk, many entertainment touring companies are uncomfortable with handing over a business credit card to their crew members to purchase supplies, pay for equipment rentals, and cover necessary travel expenditures. But tour and production managers with crew members on the road now have a game-changing option: corporate prepaid expense card programs. They provide the perfect mix of credit card convenience with an online, realtime control and management system.

Entertainment touring operations, from large-scale entertainment act tours to local AV rental and staging companies, are implementing prepaid cards to streamline their day-to-day expenses. Here are six key reasons why a corporate prepaid expense card program trumps business credit cards for touring.

Reason No. 1: A corporate prepaid expense card program helps managers limit individual crew member expenses by dollar amount and merchant category (fuel, equipment, dining, etc.). For example, sound and video contractors might prefer to limit their sound crew’s expenses to fuel and gear purchases. With a prepaid expense card, administrators can limit purchases on individual cards to approved technology vendors and adjust restrictions in realtime. Standard business credit cards simply don’t offer that level of control or flexibility.

Reason No. 2: A corporate prepaid expense card program helps managers react to spending needs in realtime. When an amplifier unexpectedly blows a fuse, the production manager can decide if the repair cost is necessary and add the needed funds to the appropriate crew member’s card immediately online or through a mobile app. One touring company needed to order an extra supply of promotional T-shirts and found that the ability to instantly load $2,000 for that express purpose was easy with a prepaid expense card solution but not feasible with a typical business credit card program.

Reason No. 3: Prepaid cards limit risk and eliminate liability for the business owner or contractor. With standard credit card programs, employees have direct access to the company’s business card line of credit. In a prepaid expense card program, crew members can only access funds that the manager has placed on the card. Moreover, there is no personal liability with a prepaid business expense card program.

Reason No. 4: As your tour’s needs expand or contract, prepaid business expense cards allow the manager to decide how much money is available for expenses and never risk that crew members will be turned down for necessary purchases because of a bank-assigned limit. Standard business credit card lines are limited by what bank is willing to lend, and don’t necessarily change when your needs change.

Reason No. 5: Corporate prepaid debit cards eliminate the burden of interest charges, over-limit fees, and late fees, allowing touring companies to more efficiently manage their spending and allocate funds appropriately.

Reason No. 6: Prepaid business debit card providers never order a credit report, unlike standard business credit card companies who usually require a personal co-signer for the debt and order credit reports on that person and the company. It’s your money—why would the provider need to know your credit history?

In today’s business climate, the challenge to constantly and consistently do more with less is alive and well. Businesses in the touring and entertainment industry are facing critical financial challenges, including employee spending control, funds disbursement problems for the tour crew on the road, and card abuse.

By streamlining employee spending, progressive entertainment touring companies can eliminate the traditional financial burdens of credit management, and allocate their time, attention, and resources to operations that truly impact the bottom line.

Michael K. Noles has more than 30 years of diverse financial services experience. As the CMO of PEX Card, he is responsible for developing and implementing the company’s growth strategy over multiple online and offline channels. He has directed the profitable growth of card-based transaction businesses, with the last 15 years focused on serving the large but complex small and mid-size business market. He can be reached at mike@pexcard.com.



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