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  • FIRST POST
    • Parkhall
    • By Parkhall 15th Nov 18, 9:30 PM
    • 30Posts
    • 6Thanks
    Parkhall
    How to manage a charity credit card
    • #1
    • 15th Nov 18, 9:30 PM
    How to manage a charity credit card 15th Nov 18 at 9:30 PM
    Hi

    Our small charity will need a credit card to buy routine requirements such as web hosting etc. When we write cheques they must be signed by two trustees. So how can we have similar oversight control of credit card spending ?

    Any advice much appreciated.
Page 1
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 15th Nov 18, 11:55 PM
    • 39,914 Posts
    • 37,177 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    • #2
    • 15th Nov 18, 11:55 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Nov 18, 11:55 PM
    Hi

    Our small charity will need a credit card to buy routine requirements such as web hosting etc. When we write cheques they must be signed by two trustees. So how can we have similar oversight control of credit card spending ?

    Any advice much appreciated.
    Originally posted by Parkhall
    You can't have anything as tight as two person authorisation. We ran through the options in this thread.

    What you might consider is setting up internal controls: every times someone wants to use their credit card, they complete a short form or take a copy of the order they want to place. Get it signed by whoever's got the authority to do so, THEN the card is used. But it gets quite irksome.

    You can almost certainly set single item limits on credit card expenditure.

    Web hosting you might be able to settle by direct debit - it depends if the company will send you a paper form (some won't).
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats, 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself, multiple poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: ready to decrease / decreasing on all parts of the mohair cardigan pattern! but moved onto wrist warmers for friends at Christmas ...
    • Parkhall
    • By Parkhall 16th Nov 18, 8:23 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Parkhall
    • #3
    • 16th Nov 18, 8:23 AM
    • #3
    • 16th Nov 18, 8:23 AM
    Thanks very much for the reply Savvy_Sue. The idea of using an internal form to authorise payments is probably the way to go. I'm sure that thousands of charities must use credit cards so they probably implement a similar method.
    • Parkhall
    • By Parkhall 16th Nov 18, 4:05 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Parkhall
    • #4
    • 16th Nov 18, 4:05 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Nov 18, 4:05 PM
    Just a quick memo to flag up another method for utilizing a credit card with proper authorization.

    If you use a pre-paid credit card (eg. FairFX) it will be possible to load the card with just the amount required to meet a particular payment. Loading the card from the charity bank account can be co-authorized just like any other online payment.

    Pre-paid credit cards can be used for almost any transaction for which an ordinary card would work. A FairFX card is just a type of Mastercard.

    The only catch is that they charge 1.5% fee for international transactions but UK point of sale transactions are free. FairFX waive the normal business fee of 50 per annum if you are a charity. The card costs 10.

    This method dawned on me today as I have used a FairFX card before for personal use. So if your charity requires occasional credit card purchases with full control/authorization this is method should work.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 16th Nov 18, 9:24 PM
    • 39,914 Posts
    • 37,177 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    • #5
    • 16th Nov 18, 9:24 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Nov 18, 9:24 PM
    Is there a charge for loading the FairFx card? That's put me off using some prepaid cards.
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats, 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself, multiple poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: ready to decrease / decreasing on all parts of the mohair cardigan pattern! but moved onto wrist warmers for friends at Christmas ...
    • Parkhall
    • By Parkhall 16th Nov 18, 9:32 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Parkhall
    • #6
    • 16th Nov 18, 9:32 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Nov 18, 9:32 PM
    No charge for loading the card or transferring money between cards.

    The fees are here

    The Maintenance & Support fee of 50 is waived for charities.
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 17th Nov 18, 11:21 AM
    • 3,993 Posts
    • 3,559 Thanks
    Undervalued
    • #7
    • 17th Nov 18, 11:21 AM
    • #7
    • 17th Nov 18, 11:21 AM
    Hi

    Our small charity will need a credit card to buy routine requirements such as web hosting etc. When we write cheques they must be signed by two trustees. So how can we have similar oversight control of credit card spending ?

    Any advice much appreciated.
    Originally posted by Parkhall
    Which is fine up to a point but what you really need is a system where any expenditure (maybe above petty cash level) is authorised by two trustees. Once a bill arrives there is generally no option but to pay it, so the oversight needs to be earlier in the process.

    All two signatories protects you against is one of the trustees being dishonest. Up to a point you still have that if the credit card bill is settled by cheque but not, presumably, if bills are paid by online banking etc.
    Last edited by Undervalued; 17-11-2018 at 12:10 PM.
    • Parkhall
    • By Parkhall 17th Nov 18, 12:56 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Parkhall
    • #8
    • 17th Nov 18, 12:56 PM
    • #8
    • 17th Nov 18, 12:56 PM
    Online banking can be set up so that two people must independently authorize each BACS payment. So topping up a pre-paid card has the same protection as a co-signed cheque.
    • Undervalued
    • By Undervalued 17th Nov 18, 1:39 PM
    • 3,993 Posts
    • 3,559 Thanks
    Undervalued
    • #9
    • 17th Nov 18, 1:39 PM
    • #9
    • 17th Nov 18, 1:39 PM
    Online banking can be set up so that two people must independently authorize each BACS payment. So topping up a pre-paid card has the same protection as a co-signed cheque.
    Originally posted by Parkhall
    Fair enough but, as I said, it only protects you against one or other of the "signatories" being dishonest. In most cases by the time it comes to cheque writing (or making an online payment) the charity has been committed to that expenditure.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 18th Nov 18, 1:10 AM
    • 39,914 Posts
    • 37,177 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    Fair enough but, as I said, it only protects you against one or other of the "signatories" being dishonest. In most cases by the time it comes to cheque writing (or making an online payment) the charity has been committed to that expenditure.
    Originally posted by Undervalued
    That's true, but done properly it should also limit the damage of dishonesty.



    The trouble is, the checks often aren't carried out properly, either before or after the event ...
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats, 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself, multiple poppies, 3 peony flowers, 4 butterflies ...
    Current projects: ready to decrease / decreasing on all parts of the mohair cardigan pattern! but moved onto wrist warmers for friends at Christmas ...
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