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    • ElizabethOCHR
    • By ElizabethOCHR 13th Sep 18, 1:02 PM
    • 3Posts
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    ElizabethOCHR
    Debit card for our charity?
    • #1
    • 13th Sep 18, 1:02 PM
    Debit card for our charity? 13th Sep 18 at 1:02 PM
    Hello -please move this to another forum if you think it would help. I am a trustee of a charity employing one person. She needs to purchase things frequently like craft materials/books/shelving and son on. In the past this was fine, most people took cheques, but now she could do with a debit or credit card as any items she buys online or from a big retailer she has to use her own money and claim back on expenses. This isn't ideal. Problem is like most charities our constitution says we need 2 signatures for authorising spending money. Modern retailing just doesn't suit this. Any ideas on how we can make things easier for her - and us - what do others do? Any bank accounts that might work for us? All ideas welcome!
    Thanks very much
Page 1
    • Robin9
    • By Robin9 13th Sep 18, 1:16 PM
    • 3,256 Posts
    • 2,126 Thanks
    Robin9
    • #2
    • 13th Sep 18, 1:16 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Sep 18, 1:16 PM
    Have you approached your business manager at your bank ?.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
    • Aquamania
    • By Aquamania 13th Sep 18, 6:17 PM
    • 1,998 Posts
    • 806 Thanks
    Aquamania
    • #3
    • 13th Sep 18, 6:17 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Sep 18, 6:17 PM
    Hello -please move this to another forum if you think it would help. I am a trustee of a charity employing one person. She needs to purchase things frequently like craft materials/books/shelving and son on. In the past this was fine, most people took cheques, but now she could do with a debit or credit card as any items she buys online or from a big retailer she has to use her own money and claim back on expenses. This isn't ideal. Problem is like most charities our constitution says we need 2 signatures for authorising spending money. Modern retailing just doesn't suit this. Any ideas on how we can make things easier for her - and us - what do others do? Any bank accounts that might work for us? All ideas welcome!
    Thanks very much
    Originally posted by ElizabethOCHR
    I don't really know much about charities, but if this were a small business, I could image 3 options open:

    1. Change your constitution
    2. Order items for payment via invoice (which could be in advance of receipt if you cannot get credit).
    3. If the employee agrees to this, she could purchase small items from her own funds(incl use of her own debit/credit card, or indeed as a cash advance) and reclaim the cost via petty cash accompanied by the usual receipts, etc

    Maybe someone who knows more specifically about how charities operate could advise if any of the above options would be unsuitable.
    • spenderdave
    • By spenderdave 16th Sep 18, 6:48 AM
    • 450 Posts
    • 262 Thanks
    spenderdave
    • #4
    • 16th Sep 18, 6:48 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Sep 18, 6:48 AM
    No difference between debit or credit cards, if your organisation requires two signatures for payments you can't use either. This is the situation in my Methodist Church, we have to make all payments by cheque (2 signatures) or buy things personally on our own credit/debit cards and get paid by the church by cheque. There are a few online bank accounts which can handle dual approval but most don't. This seems to remain a sticking point for charities and small businesses for which there is no immediate answer.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 16th Sep 18, 9:10 AM
    • 7,196 Posts
    • 6,888 Thanks
    00ec25
    • #5
    • 16th Sep 18, 9:10 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Sep 18, 9:10 AM
    your charity needs to review its constitution so that your employee either has access to a cash advance / "petty" cash float, or a spending limit attached to a card

    if you go the card route then the card account balance reimbursement is the time when your 2 signatories review the expenditure statement and approve it (retrospectively). But in essence that is no different to your current position where the employee may already have committed the charity to an order before you come to pay it by cheque or when you reimburse their expenses claim as both are in reality retrospective.

    Loads of organisations, particularly public sector ones, have had to move with the times and accept that employees can be given spending cards which mean that authorisation is not required at the time the purchase is made, but is instead tied in with contracts of employment making misuse of a card a personal liability. The trustees therefore continue to exercise due diligence since they review the expenditure, and can action any misuse to ensure that the funds are recovered by the charity.

    there are several organisations who offer such "purchase" cards, including the Charities Aid Foundation itself - although with the latter it is tied to having to have an account with them. But then again you may already use CAF for their fund-raising services anyway?
    https://www.cafonline.org/charities/everyday-banking/caf-bank-business-card
    Last edited by 00ec25; 16-09-2018 at 9:17 AM.
    • FloraG77
    • By FloraG77 16th Sep 18, 9:28 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    FloraG77
    • #6
    • 16th Sep 18, 9:28 AM
    • #6
    • 16th Sep 18, 9:28 AM
    Hi,

    I work for a charity and we have a company credit card (a few, actually).
    The dual authorisation isn't enforced by the bank when it comes to cards, that's an internal control that your charity needs to have/implement.

    While you will need to get two main signatories to sign the application form for the credit card (the bank should/will reject the application otherwise), when using the credit card itself, it functions the same as any card.

    This means that the charity could get a credit card in a member of staff's name and agree the authorisation limits for that staff. This is all internal controls, so there is an element of trust but you should already have a scheme of delegation of some sort and you would just add credit cards for payment methods and assign the limits to the role (rather than the individual, this way you don't need to get it approved every time an individual moves on). The actual expenditure still needs to be authorised officially at some point, i.e. the expense form still needs to be completed, but the payment is made by the company card so the employee is not out of pocket and there is also still an audit trail. You can remove cash facilities and restrict the type of purchases that can be made (e.g. they can't withdraw cash and can't make purchases that fall under certain categories, like quasi-cash, there are more but I can't remember at the top of my head).

    We have both central spend cards and cards for individuals. For the central spend cards, a purchase order needs to be completed before we release the details. For the cards for individuals, they have to settle any expenditure via our normal expenses process. We monitor the cards online on a daily basis so are aware of everything going out at all times and any unusual or unexpected charges are known right away and followed up on.

    Your charity should speak to the bank about a business card and they should be able to guide you in terms of the actual process for getting one. Your board/trustees should deal with setting the purchasing process & authorisation limits as an internal matter.
    • J B
    • By J B 16th Sep 18, 10:37 AM
    • 3,039 Posts
    • 1,093 Thanks
    J B
    • #7
    • 16th Sep 18, 10:37 AM
    • #7
    • 16th Sep 18, 10:37 AM
    12 years ago we closed our Ltd Company, so my 'advice' may be worth nowt.


    We had two (private) MBNA credit cards and the bill was paid by the Ltd Co (IIRC)
    We used to post them a business cheque each month.


    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 16th Sep 18, 11:16 PM
    • 39,155 Posts
    • 36,062 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    • #8
    • 16th Sep 18, 11:16 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Sep 18, 11:16 PM
    duplicate thread here with very similar replies.
    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!
    • gingerdad
    • By gingerdad 19th Sep 18, 5:10 PM
    • 1,812 Posts
    • 1,407 Thanks
    gingerdad
    • #9
    • 19th Sep 18, 5:10 PM
    • #9
    • 19th Sep 18, 5:10 PM
    been involved with a number of charities and had either debit card or credit card when required.

    caf bank do them - just have an amount they can spend with needing further authorisation. simples
    The futures bright the future is Ginger
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