Multiple Cardholders on a Single Credit Card Account

How to Deal with Credit Cards that have Multiple Cardholders for a Single Account (Circa Fall/Winter 2013)

Problem

  • Company has linked a credit card that has multiple cardholders
  • Cheqbook treats that as separate accounts for each cardholder
  • Individual accounts have balances that make no sense unless merged together as a whole

Background

This problem was triggered by Intuit's data aggregation system which treats these as different accounts (Intuit is our data providing partner).  We never anticipated this issue when we were building Cheqbook and unfortunately the chosen design of our database makes it particularly difficult to "merge" multiple accounts together.  To make matters worse one of the restrictions we created to avoid another potential problem is getting in the way of an easy accounting entry fix our user's could employ.  In the pursuit of honest disclosure this has turned out to be bigger problem than we initially anticipated.

This is because not only is it much harder for us to fix than it appears BUT many more small businesses than we anticipated are having the same problem.  For example Cheqbook itself has this exact same issue (yes, we use our own software for our books exclusively - we use what we sell thank you!) 

Temporary Fix

For now the only way to deal with it is to make individual journal entries moving periodic balances to the primary card holder's account - and that's a multi-step process because you must go painstakingly go through an unlinked account like "payments in transit" for every individual cardholder to do so.

The easy solution would just be to do a SINGLE periodic journal entry moving the balances to the primary card member's account, but because of a necessary Cheqbook limitation you cannot.  (See http://help.cheqbook.com/entries/23612811-How-do-I-record-a-payment-or-transfer-between-linked-accounts- )

Instead for the moment you must:

  1. Make an individual journal entry from each subsidiary card holder's linked account transferring its balance to "Payments in Transit" (or another account of your choosing).
  2. Then make a summary entry from "Payments in Transit" to the primary card holder's linked account.

At the present moment this is the only fix, for which we apologize and hope to have the following for you soon.

Pending Fix

We have high on our development team's enhancement schedule the ability to group accounts on the balance sheet and income statement.  While not a complete merger of accounts that would allow you to see and edit the detail for all the cardholders in one register, it WOULD allow you to see the balances added together on any given day (like the ending statement date!) when you run a balance sheet report.  That will allow you to know at a glance if the balance is correct, rather than have to manually add up each account outside Cheqbook to see if the balances tie in total.

For example a balance sheet could report:

Bob's card:           $177.13

Doug's Card:         -100.00

Kathy's Card:          500.00

VISA Total             $577.13    <== Which would hopefully tie to your credit card statement on this date.

Once this change is finalized and released you won't have to do multiple journal entries (the temporary fix above) to check against your credit card statement balance anymore.  The Cheqbook reconciliation process will also work, although the method will require a few additional steps and some training.  We will release an FAQ here in the forum on reconciling multiple cardholder accounts at that time.

Long Term Fix

We are considering approaches to make this easier for our users to deal with, but as we noted above there doesn't appear to be an easy fix in our software.  It may require very complicated AND comprehensive code changes to combine the accounts into one.  In the meantime we are seeking an elegant and efficient answer, if you have one please share - we will be happy to give you a free company account for life for an easy fix for this one.

We will update this FAQ as we work to resolve this issue.

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2 Comments

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    Jason Ryan

    Any update to this issue yet? We are having the same problem...

  • 0
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    Doug Levin

    Jason, no, there hasn't been any progress. There's a long list of bug fixes our team has worked on but we're not close to getting to this one.  Anyway we look at it it's a major dev project, and it's only a handful of users that have this problem (ourselves included). 

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