Occasional Travelers Get Petty Cash

Dave Ramsey, Small Business
on August 30, 2012

Dear Dave,
I own a small company in San Antonio, and some of my employees have to go out on the road. I’d rather not give them company credit cards or debit cards. How should I handle this?

Dear Brian,
If traveling is rare for your team, I’d just send them out with petty cash. Have them check with accounting for enough money to cover their expenses, then turn in the balance—with receipts to explain how the rest of the cash was spent—when they get back. If there’s a discrepancy, they should make up the difference out of their own pockets.

Sometimes, like when we put on a live event and have several team members traveling, the total amount of petty cash we send out can be pretty wild. Still, I’m perfectly comfortable with the situation. If you can’t trust someone with a few hundred dollars, then you shouldn’t send them out representing your name or your company.

Now, if someone on your team is a real road warrior, I can see giving them a company debit card for the sake of convenience. But otherwise, I wouldn’t want all those numbers and all that exposure floating around. Just use petty cash, and receipt it back.

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