Businesses of all sizes can save with a business fuel card. Fuel cards offer numerous benefits, like simplified expense tracking and powerful data analytics.
However, finding the right provider to maximize long-term savings takes time. Look for a program with purchase controls and enhanced security to protect your fleet.
Before fuel cards, business owners would hand drivers basic company credit cards and have them fill out a fuel receipt after each purchase. But that’s a time-consuming process for everyone involved. A business fuel card allows for more in-depth monitoring and security, cutting down on fraud. Common fuel fraud involves drivers using their cards to buy other items unrelated to fleet use or station cashiers inflating gas purchases to steal more money from the company. With a fuel card, you can easily assign cards and PINs to drivers, monitor the transaction history for signs of fraudulent activity, and even set daily gallon limits to prevent theft.
The best fuel cards for small business also come with a full fleet management platform, giving managers full visibility on every transaction and the ability to stay current on real-time spending. This is particularly helpful if you have multiple locations or drivers, as keeping up with every driver’s daily purchases can be challenging. Additionally, most top-tier fuel cards incorporate an EMV chip into the card to protect against unauthorized purchases.
Most fuel cards are designed to streamline expense tracking and management. They give businesses useful information about each purchase, including the date, time, vehicle, driver, and amount spent. This level of detail can greatly streamline accounting processes, like IFTA and fuel tax refund filings.
When choosing a fuel card, it is important to consider fees and network coverage carefully. Some providers charge annual or transaction fees that can quickly add up. Look for a provider with lower fees and more network options to benefit your business needs. Another great feature of fuel cards is that they eliminate the need to store receipts for each purchase. This makes the whole process much more efficient since transport companies can automatically receive data on all completed transactions, reducing the need for manual reconciliations of receipts.
Fuel cards are an easy and efficient way to manage expenses for businesses operating company cars and needing to pay for fuel. The card is linked to a business account, and when refueled, the cost will automatically be deducted from the company’s funds. Instead of having drivers hand over receipts or submitting expense reports, every purchase is recorded and reported directly to the accounts department for analysis.
The biggest money savings come from the discounted rates fuel card providers offer. These are often significantly lower than the pump price and average around 10-15p per liter in savings. Choosing a provider that offers flexible and consistent discount rates is important. Watch out for introductory discounts that drop steeply after a few months, and also be sure to assess the size of the fuel station network.
Other cost-saving benefits include setting spending controls on a driver, vehicle, date range, and fuel station basis. This means managers can easily see the areas where they can make savings. Enhanced credit options are also available on some fuel cards, which can help small businesses and newer companies that struggle to qualify for traditional business credit card facilities.
Track Your Expenses
Businesses that use fuel cards benefit from streamlined expense tracking and reporting. With fuel cards, the information is automatically tracked and reported to a dashboard in real time, eliminating the need for receipts and saving accounting departments from manually entering transaction data into the software. This allows for better oversight of spending, identification of unauthorized purchases or theft, and the ability to monitor driving patterns in real-time.
Choosing the right fleet fuel card takes research to find one that meets your business needs and maximizes ongoing savings. Look for a provider with a large network of participating gas stations that aligns with your operating locations and compare the size of the fuel discount offered. Beware of enticing introductory discounts that often taper off to more stable rates after a few months.
Also, look for a fuel card that supports multiple driver IDs, allows you to set spending and location restrictions, provides chip & PIN technology, and offers real-time transaction monitoring. These tools reduce risk and can help prevent misuse or fraud by requiring driver IDs at the pump and providing the ability to track purchase histories by product type, vehicle, and station.
Using fuel cards allows your business to track expenses more quickly and efficiently. This eliminates the need to pay upfront for fuel expenses and go through a reimbursement process, improving cash flow. It also helps reduce the risk of fraud and misuse by making it more difficult for employees to spend unauthorized funds or unapproved items. Look for providers that offer security protocols like chip & PIN technology, spending limits and restrictions, driver ID requirements, and real-time transaction monitoring.
The savings of fuel cards can be significant for businesses that operate fleets, especially when used diligently. Identifying the right card provider for your business takes time and due diligence. Choosing a provider with a vast network of participating stations, reasonable fuel rates, and stable discounts is the best way to maximize long-term savings. Beware of introductory fuel discounts that drop dramatically after a few months and compare fees, network coverage, and management features. The right card program will deliver maximum value over the long haul.