A crucial but frequently overlooked aspect of any purchasing card (P-Card) programme is cardholder training: it enables the cardholder to use the card as the company intended, explains Anita Carolus-Opperman, Nedbank Corporate Card National Sales Manager, in this month’s SmartProcurement.
Training styles will differ from company to company, but here are some basic considerations when a cardholder training programme is implemented:
• The size and culture of the company.
• Departments in the company that will be issued with P-Cards and the location of these departments.
• The number of cardholders.
• Content that needs to be covered in the training.
• Whether the training should be conducted before or after the card is issued and how it should be conducted.
• Consultation and inclusion of all relevant departments and stakeholders, e.g. Finance, HR and Procurement.
A company can combine traditional training with a certification programme. This would entail sending the cardholder all the training material, such as tutorials and P-Card related policies and processes, when a new P-Card is issued. When these have been read, the cardholder must sign an agreement to acknowledge acceptance and understanding of the material. A certificate is then sent to the cardholder, but it must be renewed every year, otherwise the card can be placed on hold.
Another way to conduct training is upfront and to withhold applications until the cardholder has completed the training. This may result in an administration-heavy follow up process and is therefore not ideal for large P-Card programmes, unless the training can be electronically monitored on an intranet site. Such a process may entail the provision of all the training material, and after successful completion the cardholder receives the application form for the new P-Card.
There are endless possibilities for how cardholder training should be conducted and there is no perfect training programme that will suit all companies. It is clear, however, that when all the above have been considered, it should be easy to implement a training programme that suits your company.
For more information on how a P-Card programme can benefit your company contact Anita Carolus-Opperman at email@example.com.