For many people in management or accounting, the nightmare scenario for sending an employee on a working trip is a sizable abuse of the expense report system. While the majority of employees are loyal, responsible and do the jobs they are sent to do, some employees severely exploit the lack of supervision while traveling. In such instances, they can do everything from simply neglect appropriate spending protocol to outright fabricating false reports in order to get paid more money by the company they work for.
Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to fight this kind of employee abuse. One of the best steps to take is to incorporate modern expense report software, such as ExpensePoint, but the effectiveness of the software is only as good as the people using it. That means that compliance—that is, getting your employees to use the software as and when intended—is a major component of accurate, honest expense reporting.
So how do you ensure your employees comply with the needs of expense report software?
One the more important things you need to do is clearly define what is and isn’t covered by your company’s travel expense policy. Some employees may misreport expenses as an honest mistake or act of genuine ignorance. Take the time to clearly lay out to employees what is expected of them when they travel, and which aspects of travel expenditure the company will reimburse for.
This may be harder for some to implement due to the hectic nature that business travel sometimes entails, but keeping to a time table for expense reports is better for everyone. If you can get your employees to file a transaction right as it happens, for example, this saves huge amounts of review, approval and filing time for everyone, since modern software can log and notify the appropriate staff when an expenditure occurs, thus negating the need to both write and review a huge expense report at the end of the trip.
Make It Easy
More than anything else, if you can make the expense reporting process fast, easy and as painless as possible, this will be the biggest determining factor in helping employees to remain compliant. Collecting receipts, coming home and being forced to write a big report, fill out details on a spreadsheet, staple receipts or scan them one by one is all tedious and allows for greater room for error.
On the other hand, with modern software like ExpensePoint, the expense report software can be installed right on a phone, allowing transactions to be quickly recorded in seconds, and even allow for photographs of receipts via the phone’s camera, meaning employees don’t have to collect these receipts. Thanks to the online, digital nature of the expense report, staff can be instantly notified when a new item has been entered, meaning it can be reviewed and approved or flagged in short order.
By being precise about your expense policy, making a clear time line for the process, and then making that process as quick and easy as possible, you have much better chances of making your employees compliant with your expense reporting policies. Good expense report software goes a long way towards helping these goals.