Petty cash is a necessity for managing a production, but also can be a nightmare with more problems than positive benefits.
Does this sound like your experience with petty cash?
Cash is easy to get lost or stolen, and cannot be used for online purchases, an increasingly common issue. Having to keep thousands of dollars on hand is a huge security challenge. (Safes are not 100% foolproof…we've seen productions have their entire safes stolen.) Going to the bank to retrieve weekly petty cash is also painful, and, on top of that, most banks don't carry large amounts of cash, so pre-ordering becomes necessary. Once you have the cash, asking each crew member to come in to the accounting office to retrieve their cash is an inefficient process.
Petty cash envelopes add to your challenges, and rarely reconcile perfectly over the course of a show, as departments pass money to each other and arguments begin over who received what from whom. Every accounting department hates reconciling those petty cash envelopes, because it’s so time consuming and tedious. And if crew members don't have enough cash for a purchase, many times they will use their own money and seek reimbursement, which defeats the purpose of controlling their spending in the first place.
Luckily, petty cash and production expense management just got a lot more streamlined, secure, and simple to manage. New prepaid cards, such as the GreenSlate Visa® Prepaid Card offered through GreenSlate, simplify expense management for all non-payroll production spend.
The prepaid card works like a debit card, but it’s better than cash or credit. Most departments use a single "production" credit card for online purchases, and all charges need to be broken out by accounting. The GreenSlate Visa® Prepaid Card requires no credit qualification, creates instant records, and offers full integration and management with production accounting software. This is a real step forward from older, slower, clunky systems.
Here are just a few of the benefits of going paperless and cashless:
- Elimination of carrying large amounts of cash.
- Total control of each person's spending in accordance with their budget.
- Ability to load more money on a card in an emergency situation.
- PCard envelopes reconcile in real time.
- Receipts can be scanned and stored in a single envelope as opposed to taped to paper and stuffed in 8 1/2 x 11 manila envelopes, eventually ending up in a box to be stored and forgotten about.
- Crew only needs to visit accounting office once to retrieve their card. All reloads happen digitally.
- A lost card can be stopped immediately and the funds blocked from being used.
- Total control over each departments purchase budget.
- Online purchases made easy.
- Elimination of the "production" credit card used by all departments. Each crew member can have his/her own card for approved purchases.
Producers who have switched to prepaid cards have this to say:
“I'm loving the prepaid debit card system. SO MUCH easier than older card systems. Much simpler interface, faster turnaround for cards and wiring/applying funds is pretty much same-day.”
“There are many things I love about the new system. The application process being tied into the account setup makes it incredibly easy and fast to get started.”
“So easy to order and the interface is amazing.”
If you’re interested in learning more about how to use prepaid cards for production expense management, you can check out the GreenSlate Visa® Prepaid Card here.
Have you struggled with petty cash management on your productions? What solutions have worked well for you?