Commercial Payment Cards Can Help Companies Worldwide Satisfy Financial Compliance Requirements

    New White Paper Offers Travel & Entertainment and Procure-to-Pay Best
Practices to Achieve Financial Accountability

    MUNICH, GERMANY, October 23 /CNW/ - Visa has released a new white paper,
titled, "Commercial Cards and Financial Compliance," to help organizations
meet financial accountability requirements in many countries around the world.
The paper identifies best practices in electronic payment programs for the
travel and entertainment (T&E) management process and Procure-to-Pay function
deployed by companies worldwide to help satisfy compliance requirements and
achieve more control and visibility over spending. Commercial card programs
leverage technology to build efficient controls, monitor adherence and provide
the data necessary to mitigate control-related risk.

    The paper, co-published with ACTE Global, the association of corporate
travel executives, and released today at the annual Association of Corporate
Travel Executives (ACTE) Global Education Conference in Munich, Germany,
focuses on corporate card and purchasing card (P-card) program strategies,
which are an integral part of best practices because they help companies meet
control and audit requirements. Corporate cards are used primarily for T&E
expenses, while P-cards are primarily used by companies for expenses related
to maintenance, repair, operations, and office supplies.

    "Commercial cards are an integral part of best practice control
strategies as they leverage technology to help with compliance and build
efficient controls at each stage of the Procure-to-Pay process. These programs
are key in helping minimize spend out-of-policy and employee misuse, by
providing visibility into spend," said Janet Zablock, vice president, Visa
Commercial, Visa Inc. "The power of corporate and purchasing cards to bolster
control over spending and help comply with regulations is compelling."

    T&E Best Practices

    Leading companies also ensure that T&E policies are aligned with overall
procure-to-pay objectives and are actively endorsed by senior management. Best
practices that contribute to enhanced control for the travel management
function include:

    --  Centralized travel management: Centralizing improves the ability to
track and analyze travel spend.

    --  Company-wide travel policies: Developing and distributing travel
restrictions, mandates, and policy updates means that employees are aware of
and understand policies, and are more likely to follow them.

    --  Coordinated event planning through travel management function:
Coordinating improves the ability to track events planning and other unique
travel spend as a subset of overall firm travel spend and increases ratio of
spend through preferred vendors.

    --  Implementing a T&E card program: Card programs facilitate a degree of
control through card features and through back-end audit and exception

    Procure-to-Pay Best Practices

    Similar to travel managers, purchasing managers seek to create a more
transparent and accountable purchasing system. Visa has identified best
practices employed by companies worldwide to optimize the entire
Procure-to-Pay process, including sourcing, order placement, payment and
settlement, reconciliation, control and audit and reporting.

    Financial Regulations

    The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) is designed to help ensure financial
transparency in publicly traded companies in the U.S. SOX has impacted
companies worldwide that have enacted policies to implement end-to-end process
controls and the periodic monitoring of organizational compliance. Once SOX
became law in the U.S., many other countries around the world implemented laws
that enforced or recommended adherence to strict corporate governance
principles. While these laws vary in degree of stringency as compared to SOX,
they have two common core themes - the enforcement or recommendation to
implement organizational controls and the periodic monitoring of
organizational compliance.

    To view the entire Compliance white paper, including a comprehensive
overview of T&E and Procure-to-Pay Best Practices and a description for how
corporate and purchasing cards can help ease financial compliance, visit

    Notes to Editors:

    About ACTE Global: The Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE)
is a not-for-profit association established to provide executive-level global
education and peer-to-peer networking opportunities. Membership spans all of
business travel, from corporate buyers to agencies to suppliers, and accords
all sectors equal membership. ACTE serves more than 5,000 executives in 49
countries. For more information, visit

    About Visa Commercial: Visa Commercial payment solutions -- Visa
Business, Visa Corporate and Visa Purchasing -- combine payment with
information to create intelligent payment solutions that are designed to
enable business and government organizations of any size and type to reduce
costs, streamline operational and payment processes, and make more informed
business decisions. Backed by Visa's unsurpassed acceptance, Visa Commercial
products and services are designed to provide a complete way to manage
payment-related processes, including travel and entertainment and procurement
expenditures, payroll distribution, and information management. For more
information, visit

    About Visa: Visa operates the world's largest retail electronic payments
network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This
includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are
offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys
unsurpassed acceptance around the world and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's
largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more
than 170 countries. For more information, visit

For further information:

For further information: Visa International Sabine Middlemass,
+1-650-432-8307 or Burson-Marsteller Carolyn Krytzer,

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