Put your hand up if you dread expenses. If you’re claiming, it can be impossible to remember what’s in policy – and what’s not. And if you manage expenses, that administrative burden can be multiplied by the amount of employees you have.
It’s likely the biggest problem you have is nobody remembers what’s in your travel and expenses (T&E) policy. Maybe you were all introduced to it when you first joined and now it sits somewhere on a dusty bookshelf or hidden corner of the intranet and everyone in the process thinks somebody else is checking it.
And then there’s the culture around T&E claims where our research has found that one in five employees think it’s okay to exaggerate expense claims – a number that is rising among Millennials (worryingly).
All this begs the question: what can be done about it? How can finance ensure greater compliance with their T&E policies while making it easier for employees (and keeping the taxman happy)?
Mobile apps make it easy
One of the best ways to get control over expense claims and get employees on board, is to make everyone’s lives easier when handling them. Technology can help you create digital paper trails that create simplicity and transparency for everyone. But it also makes it harder to fiddle them. For example:
- Mobile solutions let employees use their phone to take photos of their receipts while travelling and to upload them instantly. They don’t have to wait to get back to the office and they won’t hold onto them for weeks. In short, an easier, mobile process gives you greater visibility. It also guides employees as to what’s in policy before they claim.
- Direct connections with partners can help to feed accurate information directly into an expense tool, which makes it far quicker and easier to capture spend data. Whether it’s any spend on a corporate card, a hotel stay or car hire – technology that integrates with a network of providers makes less work for everyone in your business.
- Third-party tools, such as Google Maps, can integrate with expenses software to make it easier for employees to calculate business mileage – and easier for managers to spot exaggerated claims.
You make it helpful
Online tools can make it easy for everyone to access T&E policies at the time of submitting claims. But it’s important to consider other ways in which you can bring employees on board. How about:
- Making your policy simple and easily accessible. Use non-legal terminology and make sure it’s clear and comprehensive without being exhausting to read.
- Watching your tone of voice. The best T&E policies know their readers are (mostly) grownups who want to treat their company fairly and be treated fairly in return.
- Asking yourself how best to communicate your policy. Yes, it needs to be accessible 24/7. But should employees also get regular email briefings or face-to-face updates?
- Remembering that your T&E procedures needn’t be set in stone. Ask for feedback from your employees who travel to make sure you’re helping them as much as they’re helping you.
Compliance in conclusion
T&E compliance is not only a legal requirement it’s also a requirement for the health and culture of your business. When you adopt the right tools and approach, compliance becomes easier – and you no longer need to dread your T&E process.
If you’d like more advice on how to Crack the Code on Expenses Compliance, read this whitepaper or call us on 01628 645 139.