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The Risks Of Giving Out Petty Cash To Employees - Bento
Business Prepaid Debit Card

The Risks Of Giving Out Petty Cash To Employees

By July 14, 2015 No Comments

Petty cashThe need for small businesses to pay for occasional, unanticipated expenses is never going to go away, and petty cash has traditionally been the way to do it. While it is immediate, easy and you only stand to lose what you give out, the unfortunate truth is that there aren’t that many other sensible options for businesses looking to eliminate employee cash advances. Would you really write a check for every little incidental office expense? Probably not. Let’s take a look at some of the realities of using petty cash to fund employee purchases.

Why Petty Cash Is Risky

Let’s review a few of the risks and detriments of using petty cash.

  •       Hard to track

The fact that petty cash is so difficult to track means there’s a high risk of errors or discrepancies in the process, and reimbursement of petty cash is particularly vulnerable to miscounting and mistakes.

  •       Time consuming

The whole process surrounding petty cash is characterized by paperwork and laborious tasks such as approving and adding every little receipt and having to visit the bank to get money for petty cash distributions.

  •       Risk of overspends

Even if your petty cash process is tightly monitored with set limits for certain things, what if a brand-new petty expense crops up that doesn’t have a set limit? Someone, probably an employee in your accounts department, will have to control the process, meaning you’re at real risk of overspends.

  •       Susceptible to theft or loss

Having petty cash in the office is always a risk if you have even one less-than-honest employee. Actual cash can be a temptation if people have access to it, or even know where it’s stored, and the only way to completely avoid this is to eliminate employee cash advances and petty cash altogether.

An Excellent Alternative To Petty Cash

As we’ve already mentioned, the reality of writing checks for petty expenditures just doesn’t make sense, and while you could use business credit cards, there are still a number of reasons why business credit cards aren’t suitable for your small business expense management, particularly petty cash.

Prepaid debit cards, however, such as the Bento Business Prepaid Debit MasterCard, are the most effective alternative to petty cash distributions, and they give you complete control over your employee expenses—no matter how large or small the amounts in question.

  • Business prepaid debit cards are trackable

You know exactly how much is being spent, at which types of merchants, and by whom, and all this information is available in real-time. The risk of discrepancies is zero, because it’s all there for you to see on your dashboard.

  • Business prepaid debit cards are quick and effortless to track

With the automated tracking system, any changes you need to make or anything you need to check on can be done with the touch of a button. Business prepaid debit cards do away with the need for receipts, complicated expense claims, and reimbursement of petty cash.

  • Business prepaid debit cards can be monitored

Business debit cards let you cap expense allowances, so you eliminate the problem of petty cash overspends. There are no grey areas or issues over how business expenses are controlled.

  • Business prepaid debit cards are secure

Reloadable debit cards for business are not susceptible to loss or theft like physical cash is. Even if the card itself is lost, you can turn it off with just one click. And, of course, there’s no chance of any extra change being kept, either accidentally or on purpose.
If you’re still using a petty cash system for unexpected expenses, maybe now is the time to start looking for an alternative. The Bento business prepaid debit MasterCard is a secure, simple way to get rid of expense “leaks” caused by petty cash.


Running a business is full of small decisions, each of which has costs, be it time, money or risk.  Eliminating petty cash by using Bento Prepaid Debit MasterCards can save time, reduce risk, and save you money over the long term.  Learn more about business prepaid cards and see if this solution makes sense for your business.

About Bento for Business

Bento for Business offers a new generation of technology-driven SMART employee expense cards for SMBs, nonprofits, organizations and associations in the form of a business prepaid MasterCard. You can set monthly spend limits and allow only certain purchase categories (e.g. Bob the project manager can only spend $500/week and the card only works to purchase gas, hotels and at the hardware store). Turn cards on/off in real-time and receive SMS text message or email alerts for every purchase or decline. Enjoy unmatched visibility into cash flow, eliminate expense reports, and save time & money. Use this link to learn more and start your FREE 60-day trial of Bento’s business prepaid cards.