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With fuel comprising about 30% of a fleet’s monthly expenses, unauthorized purchases and fuel theft can significantly impact a company’s bottom-line. According to a recent study conducted by Havill & Company, 18 percent of fleet managers have experienced fraud or misuse, likely even more considering fuel fraud can remain undetected for months (or even years) before being caught.

For example, news recently broke that government employees have been using their assigned fleet cards for unauthorized gas purchases, which included filling up their own personal vehicles. Over the course of four years, government employees have cost taxpayers a staggering $2.4 million in unauthorized fuel purchases – but experts believe the actual number to be a lot higher.

There are safeguards that can be put in place to keep companies from experiencing fuel theft (also known as shrinkage). Fleet fuel cards can be customizable allowing fleet managers to determine the level of desired reporting and controlled spending limits on a card-by-card basis.

Below are some ways fleet managers can monitor and set exception alerts to control employees spending:

  • Time: The ability to restrict usage during authorized business hours prevents late night convenience store runs and unauthorized purchases.
  • Geographic location: Setting spending parameters based on employee locations, i.e. state or zip code, prevents unauthorized usage during personal travel such as weekend getaways.
  • Transactions per day: Limiting the number of transactions per day to accommodate work-required fuel needs helps to eliminate the possibility of personal fill ups after work.
  • Fuel type/grade: Fleet managers have the ability to set purchases for diesel only or regular unleaded (depending on fleet type) to restrict unauthorized gasoline upgrades.
  • Price per gallons: Since gas prices are extremely volatile, fuel card controls can help employees find fuel locations that offer gas at or below average prices, thus avoiding inflated prices due to convenience.
  • Gallons per month/per transaction: Setting an exception alert that will send a notification when employees reach or exceed their authorized gallon limit per month prevents extra unauthorized fill-ups.

Although it may seem that assigning a fuel card to employees would open the door for unauthorized spending, the opposite is true. Implementing a fuel card program, like the one offered by global-fleet, is a great way to monitor fuel expenses and keep spending in check. Don’t allow your company to be a victim of employee fuel fraud.

 The global-fleet fuel card is your ultimate tool for managing all your fleet’s fuel and maintenance expenses.