Travel and expense claims can be a constant source of irritation for finance teams and travelling employees. The combination of paper forms, and a bundle of tatty receipts is far from appealing. And then compiling, submitting and processing claims is time-consuming.
But there’s another, bigger, problem to consider too. If it’s hard to find the time to deal with the admin of travel and expense claims, it’s even harder to find the time to deal with the compliance side of things.
The risks of non-compliance
When you find it difficult to manage compliance it means you can’t be sure whether your employees are acting fairly and responsibly. One in five employees thinks it’s okay to exaggerate expense claims, so this could be a bigger concern than you’d like to think. For more on this, see the blog When expenses seem expansive – the top 5 expense frauds you need to watch out for.
It also leaves your business at risk of breaking the law. HMRC says: “You may be charged a penalty if you carelessly or deliberately give inaccurate information in your tax return that results in you not paying enough tax or over-claiming tax reliefs.” It is also worth bearing in mind that HMRC has been targeting small and medium-sized businesses in recent years so any mistakes may not pass unnoticed.
Making compliance simple
The first step in making compliance simple is to make sure it’s a company-wide concern – it’s everyone’s responsibility to act responsibly. The “three Cs” of expense and invoice policy compliance, has more on how to embed compliance in your company culture.
But you can also make travel and expense compliance a lot easier by automating the process with Concur Travel and Concur Expense. The system can be customised to your company’s travel and expense policy. It means that out-of-policy claims can be flagged up so they’re easy to spot. In fact, they can sometimes be prevented before they even happen.
Concur Expense automatically calculates the currency exchange rate and handles complex car-mileage allowances and regional tax, so whether you work internationally now or plan to in the future, you know you’re covered. The solution gives you much more confidence in the compliance of the claims that are made and peace of mind if HMRC ever investigates.
More than just simplified compliance
Of course, automation doesn’t just make compliance easier. For many companies it’s the thought of an end to paper-based processes that’s so appealing. With Concur Travel and Concur Expense, data no longer has to be keyed in across multiple systems, so you save time and reduce errors. Employees can easily book travel from their smartphone or PC and itineraries and credit card charges are automatically and accurately captured.
E-receipts from travel suppliers and receipts captured with the SAP Concur mobile app are automatically turned into expense line items, so there are no more receipts to keep track of. It means your finance team can get information more quickly and can interrogate it more easily. It’s a solution that adds real value.
Compliance doesn’t have to be complicated
It’s important that travel and expense claims comply with the law and comply with your own internal policies. With paper-based claims, it’s hard to be confident everything is as it should be. When you automate travel and expense you get the confidence you need. It’s simple to see claims that are within policy and it’s simple to deal with claims that are out of policy. Plus, you save time and reduce paperwork, which can only be a good thing.
To find out more about how SAP Concur could help with your compliance, contact one of our specialists here or call 01628 645 100.