Staff expense management is an essential part of financial management in a business, and if done well, can boost overall profitability
Here are our top 6 tips for effectively managing staff expenses.
1. Expenses policy
Having a robust expense policy is the best place to start. This should make the process of claiming expenses transparent and understandable.
Details you will need to consider should include what expenses are claimable, spend limits, time frames and the process for claiming, and what evidence is required to support a claim.
Once this is documented, make it easily accessible to all employees and be sure to review it at least annually.
2. Educate employees
Often, a written policy document can be overlooked by employees.
It is important that everyone is aware of the contents to prevent confusion and admin time further down the line.
Regular reminders to employees are helpful (as well as for authorising managers).
3. Use business credit cards
Business credit cards are not only an excellent way to monitor employee spend, but also simplify reporting.
Using them, also means employees do not have to wait for reimbursement of larger expenses.
4. Audit the process and claims
Having a process in place does not necessarily mean it is a good one. Unfortunately, as businesses change over time, processes quickly become out of date.
If you regularly audit the process in place and staff expense claims, you will be able to quickly pinpoint any weak points and amend accordingly.
5. Ensure approval and payment is done in good time
Once your employees have correctly followed the process to submit an expense claim, it is only fair to ensure expense approval and repayment are done in a reasonable amount of time.
The effectiveness of your expense management process is not only determined by time and cost savings but also by the satisfaction of your employees.
If they are expecting to have to wait for their money, they may be less inclined to make trips that ultimately benefit the business.
The worst-case scenario would also be inadvertently creating a culture whereby employees are tempted to make fraudulent claims, in order to compensate for the time they have to wait.
6. Automate the staff expense management process
Ultimately, the most effective way to manage staff expenses is to automate the process.
This alone will improve your process in several ways, from policy compliance to reduced processing time and in-depth reporting.
There are many benefits to be had from taking this step forward, and no matter how your business evolves, your system will accommodate your needs.