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How to budget with virtual credit cards

Virtual Card Spend
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When it comes to budgeting, credit cards may not be the first tools that come to mind. In fact, many people view credit cards as a hindrance to effective budgeting since they can lead to overspending and high-interest debt. 

However, when used responsibly, credit cards can be a valuable asset to budget in your business. They can help you track your expenses, maximize cash-back rewards, and increase your cash flow, saving you money in the long run. 

But, traditional credit cards can only take a business so far.

Whether it's from a lack of security, visibility, or control, physical credit cards can quickly pose challenges, especially if you continually share them across various departments and individuals within your organization. 

That’s why it's better to extend your credit card’s capabilities with virtual cards. 

Business virtual cards work exactly like traditional credit cards but grant you greater control and visibility over your spending. They make it easier to stick to your budget, reduce overspending, and gain valuable insights into your business's financial health and performance. 

Let’s explore how virtual card features can help you budget more effectively. 

Customizable spending limits and expiration dates 

Establishing spending guidelines for your employees is a great start, but enforcing them and controlling spend with traditional credit cards can be difficult. This is because it’s nearly impossible to limit spending by an amount or by the date on a business credit card. Therefore, to ensure adherence to budgetary constraints and minimize unexpected charges, you need to adopt a tool that can enforce your business requirements. 

You can easily do this by using virtual cards and gaining flexibility over payments with dynamic controls and spend limit functionality. You can empower your employees to create virtual cards, set specific spend limits, adjust expiration dates per card, and even determine auto-refill rules for recurring payments, such as monthly software subscriptions.

Expense categories and real-time reporting 

There’s a whole world beyond the confines of a spreadsheet, and it’s far more organized and effective than relying solely on manual data entry. By taking advantage of virtual card features like expense categories for real-time tracking, you can easily step outside the spreadsheet, reduce human error, and gain a clear view of the business’s finances

The great thing about expense categories is that they allow you to begin the reconciliation process as you transact. For instance, with a platform like Extend, you can easily sync your general ledger accounting codes and tag transactions in real-time. This lends itself to a seamless reporting process between Extend and your accounting platform of choice. 

So, why limit yourself to the spreadsheet when there’s a better way to manage expenses?

As Visa points out in a recent report, virtual cards aren’t only growing in popularity because they help with fraud and convenience but because they’re a great tool to increase organizational efficiency by automating payments.

Take this approach, and you’ll gain complete transparency over expenses and benefit from significant time and cost savings during your monthly reconciliation process rather than dealing with over-budget surprises at the end of the month. 

Predetermined budgets for specific projects, departments, and clients

Actively managing a comprehensive budget can be a hassle in and of itself. But what happens when you have to juggle multiple budgets across various business initiatives and departments? 

If you do it traditionally, that hassle suddenly becomes a budgeting nightmare.  

Fortunately, with a virtual card platform like Extend, you can create budgets for various projects, business locations, departments, and even client accounts. You can set a budget for a specific period of time and replenish it at a set frequency that suits your business needs, whether that’s daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly. 

From regular department and location-specific budgets to one-off budgets for unique initiatives — you can manage them all in one place, track spend in real time, and gain visibility into what has been spent and how much is left.

Here are some ways Extend customers leverage budgets for better spend management:

  • To control company card spending with virtual cards and allocated budgets for specific projects, departments, or other expense categories;
  • To find information faster and keep company finances organized, rather than browsing through complicated spreadsheets; and
  • To delegate responsibility and empower employees to manage their own virtual cards for various business expenses while eliminating the risk of overspending and tedious approval processes.

When to use the budget feature in your business

You’ll want to use the budget feature in your business in numerous instances. For example, for:

  • Departmental expenses: travel, software subscriptions, conferences, location-specific purchases 
  • Project-based expenses: corporate events, internal office parties, per diem meals
  • Individual client expenses: project fees, contractor supplies, dinners

Boost your bottom line by budgeting with virtual cards

Virtual cards are a valuable tool to ensure a seamless payment experience without disruptions to your budget. If you’re ready to incorporate them into your corporate budget process, get started here.

Blog

How to budget with virtual credit cards

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Virtual Card Spend
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When it comes to budgeting, credit cards may not be the first tools that come to mind. In fact, many people view credit cards as a hindrance to effective budgeting since they can lead to overspending and high-interest debt. 

However, when used responsibly, credit cards can be a valuable asset to budget in your business. They can help you track your expenses, maximize cash-back rewards, and increase your cash flow, saving you money in the long run. 

But, traditional credit cards can only take a business so far.

Whether it's from a lack of security, visibility, or control, physical credit cards can quickly pose challenges, especially if you continually share them across various departments and individuals within your organization. 

That’s why it's better to extend your credit card’s capabilities with virtual cards. 

Business virtual cards work exactly like traditional credit cards but grant you greater control and visibility over your spending. They make it easier to stick to your budget, reduce overspending, and gain valuable insights into your business's financial health and performance. 

Let’s explore how virtual card features can help you budget more effectively. 

Customizable spending limits and expiration dates 

Establishing spending guidelines for your employees is a great start, but enforcing them and controlling spend with traditional credit cards can be difficult. This is because it’s nearly impossible to limit spending by an amount or by the date on a business credit card. Therefore, to ensure adherence to budgetary constraints and minimize unexpected charges, you need to adopt a tool that can enforce your business requirements. 

You can easily do this by using virtual cards and gaining flexibility over payments with dynamic controls and spend limit functionality. You can empower your employees to create virtual cards, set specific spend limits, adjust expiration dates per card, and even determine auto-refill rules for recurring payments, such as monthly software subscriptions.

Expense categories and real-time reporting 

There’s a whole world beyond the confines of a spreadsheet, and it’s far more organized and effective than relying solely on manual data entry. By taking advantage of virtual card features like expense categories for real-time tracking, you can easily step outside the spreadsheet, reduce human error, and gain a clear view of the business’s finances

The great thing about expense categories is that they allow you to begin the reconciliation process as you transact. For instance, with a platform like Extend, you can easily sync your general ledger accounting codes and tag transactions in real-time. This lends itself to a seamless reporting process between Extend and your accounting platform of choice. 

So, why limit yourself to the spreadsheet when there’s a better way to manage expenses?

As Visa points out in a recent report, virtual cards aren’t only growing in popularity because they help with fraud and convenience but because they’re a great tool to increase organizational efficiency by automating payments.

Take this approach, and you’ll gain complete transparency over expenses and benefit from significant time and cost savings during your monthly reconciliation process rather than dealing with over-budget surprises at the end of the month. 

Predetermined budgets for specific projects, departments, and clients

Actively managing a comprehensive budget can be a hassle in and of itself. But what happens when you have to juggle multiple budgets across various business initiatives and departments? 

If you do it traditionally, that hassle suddenly becomes a budgeting nightmare.  

Fortunately, with a virtual card platform like Extend, you can create budgets for various projects, business locations, departments, and even client accounts. You can set a budget for a specific period of time and replenish it at a set frequency that suits your business needs, whether that’s daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly. 

From regular department and location-specific budgets to one-off budgets for unique initiatives — you can manage them all in one place, track spend in real time, and gain visibility into what has been spent and how much is left.

Here are some ways Extend customers leverage budgets for better spend management:

  • To control company card spending with virtual cards and allocated budgets for specific projects, departments, or other expense categories;
  • To find information faster and keep company finances organized, rather than browsing through complicated spreadsheets; and
  • To delegate responsibility and empower employees to manage their own virtual cards for various business expenses while eliminating the risk of overspending and tedious approval processes.

When to use the budget feature in your business

You’ll want to use the budget feature in your business in numerous instances. For example, for:

  • Departmental expenses: travel, software subscriptions, conferences, location-specific purchases 
  • Project-based expenses: corporate events, internal office parties, per diem meals
  • Individual client expenses: project fees, contractor supplies, dinners

Boost your bottom line by budgeting with virtual cards

Virtual cards are a valuable tool to ensure a seamless payment experience without disruptions to your budget. If you’re ready to incorporate them into your corporate budget process, get started here.

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How to budget with virtual credit cards

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