Your sales representatives and other traveling employees likely need an expense account to keep themselves on the go and to attract the clients and customers your business needs to succeed. But just letting them go wild with a company credit card isn’t really the right call to make. Instead, you’ll need to set up some very clear expense policies and utilise basic control procedures to ensure that your business doesn’t lose money on their spending.
First, you’ll need to set up your policies. Most business utilise a couple of simple policies for their employees:
• Allowable expenses – The types of expenses you allow employees to turn in on expense claims will usually be things like meals, accommodations, travel costs for fuel and tickets, and more. In some instances, things like a game of golf with a major client may even be allowed. No matter what, be sure you make it clear to everyone just what kind of expenses are allowed under your policies.
• Expense limits – You’ll want to set up a limit as well. Good travel expense management means making sure that your employees aren’t going over the limit. You can set a limit based on a daily, weekly, or quarterly basis or set a limit on a per-business trip system. Whatever you do, be sure you explain the limit clearly to your employees.
Setting up the policies is generally the easy part. It’s using control measures to make sure they’re followed that can get tricky. As a result, you’ll want to utilise expense automation through a quality program to keep things running smoothly. Expense Point is a perfect example of what online expense software can offer you.
Once you set up your policy guidelines you can then allow employees to upload their daily expenses as they occur, and since the system is web based you’ll be able to log in daily and approve, deny, and monitor all expenses. You can even download expense report information right to your hard drive if you desire. The software also provides in depth review features including various reports and analysis that make it simple to quickly review each employee, department, or overall pending reports and figure out where your employees are spending too much.
In short, you’ll need to do two basic things: set up clear, easy to understand expense policies, and then give yourself the tools needed to monitor expenses and ensure that your policies are being followed. Do that, and your expenses will stay within the levels they need to stay in.