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If you’re responsible for paying vendors or employees and the world is in the midst of a crisis, what would you do? As companies around the world struggle to find their footing in a quickly changing landscape, financial officers are looking for solutions to problems they never dreamed they’d have to face. For example, what if COVID-19 makes it impossible for your AP team to commute to the office to complete the weekly check run? What if your check signer is quarantined for 14 days? What if a wildfire destroyed the office where your checks and printer were stored? Or what if your headquarters was rendered unusable by an earthquake or a natural disaster?
Until recently, these scenarios felt like something straight out of a science fiction thriller but unfortunately it is now the reality for thousands of small and mid-size businesses around the country. If you already have a business continuity plan, you’re ahead of the game. If not, you may be interested to know that there’s a valuable tool right in your wallet.
Commercial cards can help your business adapt to calamities in surprisingly simple ways. From vendor payments to employee security, here are a few ways commercial cards can help your business adapt and be resilient in tough times.
When business slows to a crawl, vendors still expect to be paid. Using a virtual card or ePayables means there are no checks to sign. This eliminates the need for AP staff to access physical checks and adds flexibility for payment approvers (formerly check signers) to perform approvals anywhere they have access to a computer or mobile device. Employees can be in remote locations and payments can still be created, approved and remitted. A few other advantages of using Commercial cards for vendor payments include:
During a crisis, employees may be local, distributed, or stuck in an impacted area. Commercial cards offer a powerful tool to provide security and essential purchases for an extended time. For example, if social distancing lasts longer than expected, limits can be adjusted in real time to assist with unexpected needs. Other ways commercial cards can assist with employee safety and security include:
In addition to having a business recovery and response plan, now is a great time to make sure your business has the necessary financial tools in place to get through the next few months. Here’s a quick checklist to help you get there:
A commercial card program should be a part of every well thought out disaster preparation and recovery plan and Umpqua can help you get started. If you need help providing your business and employees with commercial cards, please contact Tony and/or Erika.