ATM cash withdrawals 2375

  • I travel regularly on business. I have 2 site in Canada that I visit 4-6 times annually each. My employer recently informed me that in order to comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act I will no longer be able to use my corporate American Express card to make cash withdrawals from an ATM. This change drastically effects my ability to obtain Canadian currency for my travel expenses since I often arrive after late in the evening the airport Currency Exchange has closed.
    What part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act restricts my ability to use a corporate credit card to make cash withdrawals from an ATM?

  • To answer your question, there is absolutely no reason (in terms of SOX) why you cannot use an ATM machine to take out cash. I assume your boss fears that ATM withdrawals can lead to untraceable uses of cash for non business-related purposes but that is faulty logic for two reasons: 1) it is HIGHLY unlikely that your ATM cash withdrawals will ever accumulate to a material level; and 2) as long as you provide accurate receipts for all of your expenditures, you should be covered.
    Businesses have cited ‘Sarbanes-Oxley’ for countless business decisions, whether or not they understand the Act or have ever even read it. While your boss might have a perfectly acceptable business reason to ask you not to make ATM withdrawals with the corporate card, SOX is not one of them.
    That being said, it is obviously your decision whether or not to tell your boss this. You might be better off just nodding your head and saying (note heavy use of sarcasm): ‘Yes, excellent decision. You’re a thoughtful manager with the best interests of the company at heart. Our shareholders should be proud.’ Good luck.

  • Thank you for such a prompt and easily understandable reply. It is very much appreciated.

  • Hi - I also want to compliment Albie on an excellent response 🙂
    Yes, many requirements are cited ‘in the name of SOX’ that may or may not be materially applicable. The actual language of SOX requires that companies impose self-regulatory controls on material exposures as they deem necessary.
    As Albie shares, the company most likely wants to ensure AMEX cards have specific charges associated with them. I’m suspecting the company as whole has instituted this policy, so that specific T-and-E charges show up for hotels, meals, etc., rather than a large cash withdrawal.
    Your company most likely implemented this control to improve their accountability of financial transactions in support of SOX requirements (e.g., I don’t think this is coming directly from your manager).
    You might reseach other solutions for ‘emergency Canadian cash’ and even ask your manager or HR for ideas. Unfortunately, the only thing I could think of, is use of your own personal non-AMEX cards to withdraw money from the ATM.

  • I also want to express my agreement with Albie’s response and second what Harry said.
    It is likely that your company has implemented a corporate policy as to what your corporate AMEX card can be used for. Violation of the policy on a regular basis without actions being taken by the company to enforce the policy would be considered a SOX deficiency.
    I use a personal ATM card to obtain cash when travelling. My company promptly reimburses my expenses upon receipt of my expense reports. Hopefully, your does also. If the amount of cash is a burden, request a cash advance from them.

  • I agree with many of the comments above. My company requires that I take cash advances for business expenses from my corporate amex and not my personal one, with expense reporting as one would expect in any well controlled company.
    Defintely not disallowed by SOX :roll:

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