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Effective Travel Expense Management

palluv 
on 09 October 2013

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1. Fair and KISS policy

Formulate a travel expense policy fair and compliable by all.  Emphasize that expenses being reimbursed are genuine, and that the organization is not reimbursing individuals for inappropriate or personal expenses.  Review and update policy regularly – then, publicize it internally and explain it clearly to all.

Keep your process straight and simple, and people are more likely to comply. By  making the process too complicated, companies run the risk that people may exaggerate their expenses to compensate for the pain of claiming them in the first place besides wastage of time and demoralizing effect.

2. Collect the right amount of (relevant) information

Establish clear, published timeframe for submitting expenses and paying them as quickly as possible. Also ensure that employees are submitting their expenses within a subscribed time frame. When employees delay filing their expenses, not only does it hurt their pockets, it also can cause cash-flow challenges for the business, and associated accounting nightmares.

3. Check expenses and make managers accountable

Best practice means making approvers accountable for the application and enforcement of travel policy. If employees say they don’t understand the policy, train them and make their respective managers accountable thereafter – and this accountability goes for managers too.

4. Make it easy to submit and approve expenses away from the office

In these days of mobile and global workforces, waiting and constantly chasing the manager can lead to delays and frustration. Allow managers to check and approve expense reports while out of the office through mobile, tablets, laptops and other such gadgets which support quick access to submission and expense approvals and synching with ERP.

5. Audit your processes and receipts

Auditing processes - Some see expense auditing as an unwelcome intrusion. On the contrary, regular auditing can actually make expense procedures work better. Auditing can help iron out the glitches in operational procedures and help to maintain a fair system.

Auditing receipts - Employees should be checked on what they are actually spending what they say they have put in papers. Some guidelines within processing functions around random audits can also be established. Items that are particularly tax sensitive or items over a certain value can also be randomly audited

6. Pay people on time

Once employees have gone through the process, complied with policy, filled out the right expense forms and attached receipts, it’s only fair to pay them on time. Plus if people know they’re going to be waiting for their money, they may think twice about making those valuable trips that builds an organizations business. It’s important to pay employees’ expenses in line with the published payment schedule. Ideally, payments should go straight into the employee’s bank account, or directly to settle their corporate card bill, on a timely and reliable basis with a prompt to him. If people are paid when they expect it, they can budget appropriately. Prompt payment can also improve morale and productivity.


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