Your company may be one that requires its employees to travel for business purposes. If so, then any expenses that your employees incur (airfare, hotel, car rental, dinner while entertaining clients, etc.) can be rather significant, and it’s important that your company take action to help your employees manage those expenses.
Many companies have a reimbursement policy, meaning that they will reimburse certain travel expenses incurred by their employees, in addition to taking more steps to help their employees manage their expenses as well. That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Here are the top five ways that you will help out your employees with managing their Business Travel expenses:
1 - Have A Clear and Transparent PolicyFirst and foremost, your company policy on travel business needs to be very clear and transparent, meaning that employees should encounter no difficulty whatsoever in finding and understanding it.
This is something that you may want to have a lawyer or an expert writer for you. The language within the policy should not be vague, or else employees may genuinely think that they are in compliance with it when senior management thinks otherwise.
If you ever revise your policy, send it out in an email blast to your employees and consider holding a meeting over it as well.
2 - Require Receipts As Proof of ExpenseA good rule to follow is that in order for an employee to claim a business travel expense for reimbursement, they will need to display valid receipts as proof of that expense. Even if the expense is valid, without a receipt, it won’t be reimbursed by the company.
Take note that the receipts do not need to be physical, as e-receipts are becoming an increasingly common thing in these days. It may be a very good idea for your company to use an app that enables your employees to upload receipts for the accounts payable team to view.
3 - Have A Solution For Expenses Without ReceiptsHaving your employees turn in valid receipts as proof of expense is certainly a wise idea, but what about for the expenses that don’t have receipts?
For example, many hotel rooms will not even give receipts or even e-receipts anymore, instead of using a folio to list out every charge from the hotel (nightly stay, fee, cleaning services, parking, taxes, food, etc.).
A folio can be much more confusing than a normal receipt, not to mention that it makes it more difficult to break down expenses. This is why you can turn to a software solution that includes hotel folio itemisation as a feature, which can then read and parse out the data on individual lines to make it easier to view the expenses.
4 - Partner With Hotels and Airlines For Special DealsIf your company partners with hotel room chains, airlines, and car rental companies, you can probably secure special deals and discounts.
This naturally eases the burden for your company, because you’re the one reimbursing your employees for the costs.
5 - Be Vigilant For Expense FraudLast but not least, be vigilant in watching out for expense fraud as well. Expense fraud is a serious issue and costs both large corporations and small businesses alike billions of dollars a year collectively in the United States.
Expense fraud is defined as when an employee deliberately and knowingly violates the terms of the company’s business travel policy in order to claim an expense for reimbursement, when in reality that expense is not valid for reimbursement under the company’s policy.
For example, an employee may claim an expense for reimbursement that is not valid for it, they may claim the same expense twice on different invoices and try to hide it, or they may deliberately inflate an expense.
The best way to watch out for expense fraud will be to use automated software that can do a good job of detecting anomalies. Another way to watch out for it will be to compare the suspected employee with other employees in their same position. If that employee’s expense claims are unusually high, it’s a cause for concern at the very least.