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Each year at tax time, business owners scramble to collect all their deductible expense receipts. Businesses that use cash for purchases run the risk of employees failing to return and properly file receipts.
By using a business credit card, business owners actually have two receipts to track deductible expenses (the receipt obtained from the retailer upon purchase, and the monthly credit card statement). Even if both sets are accidentally discarded, misfiled or destroyed by fire, the business owner can request duplicate statements for a small fee.
Major credit card issuers will also itemize statements and provide a break-down of how funds were spent, such as furniture purchases, office supplies, travel, etc. Business owners not only have a receipt for these purchases, but can track where most funds are spent. For highly disposable items such as office supplies, business owners can scan their statements and perform inventory to detect employee theft.
If a business owner is reluctant to issue credit cards to his employees because of the liability factor, he can obtain a pre-paid business card and deposit only the amount of funds needed prior to each purchase.
Many major business credit card issuers also offer extended warranties on purchases, which can be more cost effective than purchasing an extended warranty from a retailer.
For frequently purchased items, business credit card issuers such as Discover will award a 5% cash back rebate. Obviously this helps business owners lower their overall expenses. The key to remember at tax time is that the cash back may be taxable, but any interest charged by the issuer may be tax deductible.
Businesses that require travel can benefit with reduced amounts by cashing in frequently flyer miles. By placing the travel expenses on the card, the business; not the employee doing the actual traveling, can redeem the points.
Example small business credit card offers presented by major issuers:
Advanta Platinum Business Card: Detailed expense management reports, and a customized card with your business name.
Business Cash Rebate from American Express: Up to 10% cash back, up to 5% cash rebate on purchases.
Business Gold Card from American Express: Quarterly Management Report summarizes expenses by category and employee.
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card: 15,000 Bonus Miles to start and Double Miles on qualified purchases.
CitiBusiness® PremierPassSM Card: 1 point for every $ 1 spent on purchases and 1 point for every mile flown on any airline, and 3 points for every $ 1 spent on certain business purchases.
The benefits of not having to make purchases with cash, not having to worry about retaining receipts, plus the travel rewards, extended warranties, rebates and expense tracking, make a business credit card a valuable asset.