It has become a familiar part of our office landscape - it’s a container, often a biscuit tin, which contains a mix of small change, notes and handwritten IOU messages. It’s a part of the imprest system that businesses typically use to handle their petty cash payments.
A ‘float’ of money is set up to cover those small everyday office costs such as buying milk or paying for postage. Any money employees take from the float is recorded and the fund is topped up by the employer when it dips below a certain level.
One of the office workers is usually chosen to act as the custodian of this petty cash fund. It’s a mundane process which allows an organisation to handle those small day-to-day costs that employees incur.
But it’s also a system that’s notoriously difficult to effectively manage and control. And there’s nothing petty about the potential losses that can be suffered through inefficiency and fraud.
Research in 2015 by the Argos retail group found that UK companies are losing in the region of £1.8 billion each year to mismanaged petty cash costs.
Digital expense solution
One of the fundamental problems is the way that petty cash systems tend to operate in isolation. With different offices each having their own petty cash fund, it has been pretty much impossible for finance teams to keep a close eye on costs.
But that’s no longer the case.
Petty cash management is one of the powerful features provided by Webexpenses. It provides the curator with the ability to control a digital float with a secure point of entry to prevent unauthorised transactions.
Instead of handwritten notes, employees are able to use the Webexpenses app to provide proof of petty cash payments with a digital photo of any paper receipts.
The cloud-based nature of the system means that a central finance team is able to keep tabs on a multitude of different floats with information being updated in real-time.
By integrating petty cash into the expenses ecosystem, it removes that organisational blindspot that petty cash has previously created. It allows a finance team to apply the same checks and balances to all employee costs.
Find out how Webexpenses is empowering more companies to take back control of their petty cash costs.