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Use a Fleet Card to Track Fuel Expenses

Apr 17, 2008
Police departments, shipping companies, furniture companies, and many other companies are implementing fleet cards to help them reduce and track their fuel costs. Fleet card is used to pay for fuel, maintenance and often other vehicle related expenses. All expenses are usually approved by a fleet manager. But more importantly, it is the used for getting more control over fuel expenses. By monitoring the overall maintenance of the vehicle and recording fuel purchases, a fleet card becomes invaluable when measuring individual fleet vehicle fuel expenses and with the rising of fuel costs a fleet card is indispensable.

The reporting is the primary tool which allows a fleet manager to save time and money. The fleet managers receive reports in real time and can make immediate purchasing decisions which as a result control the business' expenses. Basically, fleet cards have become a very cost-effective way to operate a fleet and promote high levels of efficiency by utilizing superior reporting tools.

Fleet operators can use the fleet cards to set purchasing controls. Certain fleet cards, offer such controls as gallon limits which are set at card level, gallon restrictions, product type, and # of transactions per day/week and email alerts. Other aspects that can be controlled are how many transactions can be performed in a day or week and how much fuel can actually be purchased. The fleet manager can calculate fuel purchases by the distance that needs to be traveled or exactly how much fuel is needed. This sometimes comes in handy at the end of the month if a vehicle is in need of fuel and the company is within dollars of reaching a financial goal. By controlling how much fuel goes into the vehicle that day can make a difference on whether or not the business meets that financial goal. Fleet cards also reduce or eliminate unauthorized transactions and can only be used at specific filling stations decided upon by the fleet manager.

Fleet cards are available to any and all business or industries as long as the business operates a fleet. Every card has its own pre-set controls, which can be customized by the fleet manager to suit their specific business needs. These controls can do things such as block transactions for purchases other than fuel and can also lock out a specific drivers if it is suspected that the individual is using the card in a fraudulent manner.

The real-time reports can be sent via e-mail and are available on a monthly basis. The report notifies the fleet manager of any kind of suspicious activity that may have taken place during the minute, day, week or month, all expenses, fuel efficiency for each vehicle, unpaid bills, account administration, and processing. All of these items allow for the fleet manager to better manage all expenses that are related to the fleet in order to optimize efficiency while also ensuring great fuel economy.

If something doesn't seem right and the manager believes that the fuel economy can be improved, a plan can be created from the report's data. It can help the manager make the decision to map out better routes that may be more fuel efficient, or to come up with a better plan regarding refueling and maybe even operating fewer vehicles at once. Ultimately, having a fleet card in place is a great way to successfully run a cost-effective fleet.
About the Author
Using a fleet card will help your business streamline operating procedures, and make it easier to keep track of all fuel expenditures.
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