The AMS’s finance committee is looking to implement a new credit card program by September 2017 in order to more efficiently reimburse clubs with an annual revenue of around $10,000.
There are currently two processes for reimbursement through the AMS — cash reimbursement and cheque reimbursement. The cash reimbursement process would generally take two to three business days, while cheque reimbursements usually take approximately five business days.
“[The credit card service] basically gets rid of all the other steps and increases efficiency by tenfold,” said Louis Retief, the VP Finance of the AMS.
Instead of submitting paper-copy invoices to the AMS office, the credit card program will allow the club to directly purchase goods with the club credit card and then attach the receipt to their online bank account. Clubs who have been approved to take part in the system will then have access to a preloaded card with a credit limit each month.
The AMS wants to provide a credit line of a similar rate to banks at two to three per cent of the club’s revenue. Therefore a club that has an annual revenue of $10,000 would have a credit card limit of around $300 per month.
This service will not be available to all clubs. Of the AMS’s 400 clubs, only 80 to 100 have the revenue necessary of around $10,000 that merit the approval of a credit card.
In the long-term, Retief hopes that all clubs will have access to the credit card service program, but it currently poses too much of a risk.
“In order to be safe and to ensure that we have proper procedure to handle that type of processing, we need to ensure that we take the proper measures to test this program,” said Retief. Fifteen clubs have already been pilot testing the program in preparation for September.
In order to ensure safe practice, even clubs that meet the revenue requirements will not be guaranteed access to the credit cards. If a club or constituency has a history of not paying their bills on time or running deficits, it will be taken into account during the application process.
“If the club is being irresponsible with the credit card, we have full back-end control to cancel the credit card anytime and also have full control to cut that limit completely,” said Retief.
Clubs will also have to undergo training on how to use the new online system.
“We have to be safe and ensure that — [since] this is still student’s money being spent — clubs are spending money properly through this new program,” said Retief.