As a business owner, you are no doubt aware of the challenges associated with expense reports. Even for a small company, manually managing your company expense reporting can mean spending hours working through paper receipts and cross-checking them against a spreadsheet, not to mention the need to go back and forth with employees on entries that are not covered or amounts that exceed the limits. Here are three ways to make expense reporting a little easier.
Establish a Policy
Employees should be aware of what is and what is not covered by the company. You should establish a policy and make sure it has been reviewed and understood by all employees it might affect. Make sure that you avoid ambiguity by being specific. Your policy should not be too stringent as to become a deterrent to employees, but on the flip side should not be so lenient that it becomes a financial burden on the company. Outline the things that will be included and limits associated keeping in mind the average costs your employees will experience. And remember, if you have employees who travel, those average costs may vary from place to place! Make sure you reevaluate your policy periodically so you can make adjustments to align with the economy.
Streamline Expense Reporting
Managing expenses can be costly and time consuming from both the company and the employee perspective. Not only do you have to deal with paper receipts and inaccurate reports, but there is also the back and forth communication for inaccurate or over the limit expenses, which can be very time consuming and inefficient. Consider investing in an automated solution that will all but eliminate lost receipts, incomplete or inaccurate reports, and reduce the time it takes to submit expenses, all of which will improve productivity.
Audit and Enforce your policy
Regardless of the policy you establish, it is not a one and done type of deal. You need to audit your process on a regular basis so you can identify and address any discrepancies. Along with regular audits, you need to make sure your policy is enforced. Lastly, you should revisit your policy periodically, especially if there are significant changes in the economy.