Occasional Travelers Get Petty Cash

Brian says his employees occasionally have to travel for work. He doesn't want to give them a company credit card or the company debit card. How should he pay for their travel?

QUESTION: Brian from San Antonio says his employees occasionally have to travel for work. He doesn’t want to give them a company credit card or the company debit card. How should he pay for their travel? Dave recommends petty cash.

ANSWER: If it’s rare, I’d just send petty cash. For instance, Lara—my associate producer—has been with me 13 years. I totally trust her, but she doesn’t travel enough that she needs a debit card. She’s twice a year at these things and maybe another radio thing—three times a year, she’s out. She’s either with another team member who does travel a lot who can buy dinner on the company debit card or whatever, or she just sees accounting and takes out some money in petty cash and brings back the balance with receipts to explain where the rest of it went. Otherwise, they get to put their own money back in. You’ve got to receipt it out either way. It’s travel expenses. Honestly, the amount of petty cash we send out from time to time on the road is a little wild. But I’m perfectly comfortable with that. It’s an accounting thing. You send out $200 with somebody, they come back with $64 and receipts for the other money. If you can’t trust them with that, you can’t trust them to send them out. But if they don’t travel regularly, we’re not giving them a debit card. I don’t want that much exposure just in people’s wallets—that many different numbers floating around. But the people who travel a lot have debit cards because it would just be too cumbersome with petty cash. The occasional person, we use petty cash and just receipt it back.

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