Winning Best Practice using City National's Commercial Cards Earns National Recognition
Greenville University’s Finance Office received national recognition this spring for its winning entry in a contest sponsored by The Central Association of College and University Business Officers (CACUBO). The best practice involved City National's commercial card program, sold through First American Equipment Finance.
Each year, the CACUBO invites colleges and universities to submit descriptions of processes that result in “better, more efficient and customer friendly business practices.” The team in Greenville U’s Finance Office took top honors in the small institutions category with an entry titled “Credit Card Implementation.”
The University’s Vice President of Finance Tim Dietz received word of the win on June 6.
“It is not easy to get a best practices award amongst the hundreds of small universities in the central United States,” he said.
The honor includes a $1,000 honorarium and the opportunity to present at the CACUBO’S fall conference in Chicago. Controller Barb Sands will present the team’s solution to a problem that challenges many small universities: doing better with less.
And Then There Were (Almost) None
The challenge G.U.’s Finance Office faced flowed from a voluntary separation incentive the University initiated in March 2016. The Finance Office shrank from seven employees to two. Restructuring eventually led to new hires, but streamlining processes remained critical.
On the accounts-payable side of operations, the team implemented a campus-wide paperless system of payment by credit card that leveraged online capabilities. The system resulted in a 50 percent reduction in paper invoices and the elimination of nearly 1,000 manual entries of transactions each month.
Today, nearly 75 employees carry a university credit card for travel and other expenditures. They easily access their accounts online and immediately upload pictures or scans of receipts, resulting in fewer lost receipts.
Other benefits of the system include
- realization of a $10,000 cash rebate associated with use of the credit card,
- elimination of over 500 manually processed reimbursements each month,
- elimination of paper processing in 90 percent of the reimbursement and accounts payable processes,
- elimination of many “high priority” reimbursements and emergency processes,
- improved cash flow, and
- savings of 1 FTE (Full Time Equivalent: the hours worked by one employee on a full time basis).
CACUBO will add Greenville University’s best practice of credit card implementation to its database of best practices.