The use of company credit cards must be subject to the strictest control. Generally only one person in a company should be authorised to use the company credit card and anyone in the company who needs to make a payment by credit card should then approach that person if they need to make a credit card payment. The request for a payment to be made on the company credit card should be supported by a signed purchase order and the person requesting the payment should be responsible for providing an invoice to support the transaction.
Upon receipt of the monthly credit card statement, the person authorised to use the credit card should analyse and code all transactions and should attach supporting invoices and purchase orders. The analysis should then be reviewed and signed off by another senior officer of the company before the analysis is posted onto the accounting records.
Larger companies may issue several credit cards to its employees but in such a case, each individual with a credit card must provide a monthly analysis of his/her credit card transaction (supported by invoices) and that analysis must approved by another senior officer of the company.
It goes without saying that credit card pin numbers must be regularly changed and must not be available to anyone other than the person authorised to use the card.
There may be debit cards issued to signatories of the production bank account. Ideally these should only be used to make direct payments where other methods of payment are unavailable.
The person authorised to use the debit card should analyse and code all transactions and attach supporting invoices and purchase orders. The analysis should then be reviewed and signed off by another senior officer of the company before the analysis is posted onto the accounting records. It is important that this is submitted on a timely basis to ensure all transactions are recorded to enable weekly bank reconciliations.
Pre-Paid Debit Cards
Most productions set up accounts with pre-paid debit card providers to issue to crew who need floats to purchase disbursements on behalf of the production. They are also known as Pcards or Purchasing cards. The pre-paid debit cards can be issued to authorised production personnel instead of issuing floats or credit cards. It is important that production disbursement expenditure is kept separate from personal costs. These cards can be used for per diems, but where an individual is issued per diems as well as floats for production expenditure, they should be issued with two separate cards, one for each type of expenditure.
The card holder can be sent a list of all the expenditure on the card each week, the card holder should then analyse and code all transactions and attach supporting invoices and purchase orders. The analysis should then be reviewed and signed off by another senior officer of the company before the analysis is posted onto the accounting records. The balance on the card can then be topped up by the value of the expenditure on the sheet. It is important that these cards are regularly reconciled and receipts/back up are received for all expenditure. The accountants department should be chasing for missing receipts on a weekly basis. Any purchases made on the cards that have not been entered into the accounting system must be accrued for in the cost report.
Disbursements are items where ownership transfers to the production, (e.g. props). The VAT can be reclaimed by the production, regardless of the contractual status of the person submitting the expenses.
Personal Expenses (travel, accommodation, meals etc.).
- The production can only reclaim VAT for business expenses that are for an employee.
- The production must keep the original receipts in order to reclaim VAT.
- Where the individual is a VAT registered freelancer, the production cannot reclaim the VAT, but the freelancer can. Therefore, the freelancer must submit an invoice for the net amount, with their VAT charged on top. Then the production can reclaim the VAT from the freelancer’s invoice.
- Where freelancers are on the flat rate VAT scheme, they may be reluctant to invoice for the net amount of the expenses as they may feel they are out of pocket as they cannot reclaim the VAT on these expenses. However, they benefit from the output VAT mark up and cannot therefore expect to be reimbursed for input VAT lost.