How to Ensure Business Travel Expenses Compliance

How to Ensure Business Travel Expenses Compliance

Posted by  Jessica Tatlow

Build company policy into an intuitive business expense reporting system for expense reports that are right the first time, and every time.

Does your staff dread end-of-the-month expense report time? How often do you run across these simple claim errors that add up to too much wasted time tracking down correct data?

  • Data entry errors by employees rushing through claims submissions
  • Claims missing itemized (or any) receipts
  • Incomplete information on meals being claimed for people travelling and dining together
  • Incorrect travel dates, which confuse allowance calculations
  • Claims being entered as the wrong expense type
  • Optimistic or accidental claims on items that are not allowed, like pay-per-view movies!

To your employees and road warriors these issues may seem trivial, but your team knows the cumulative effect on accounting teams (and budgets) can be significant. On the other hand, employee reimbursements can come to a standstill if accounting is busy chasing down end users to correct every detail. Reimbursing employees for expenses should be a happy occasion, but instead often leads to a lot of duplicated effort, and leaves line managers and accounts payable teams tired from chasing down wayward end users who are also busy.

Non-compliance with company expense policies is often the major cause for the time-consuming expense-report tag that accounting teams often end up playing with their colleagues. Besides annoying and alienating employees who are waiting for expense reimbursements, delayed expense claim resolution also negatively affects key business functions such as cost control, cash flow, project billing, and overall visibility and reporting.

What if we told you that you could easily make sure business expense claims comply with company policies every time? What if you could customize your expense management system to ensure the policies and requirements of your company were built into the system? Think of all the saved time and energy, not to mention employee goodwill, you could enjoy as a result of built-in compliance as opposed to having to manually reading through policy documents.

Here are four ways best-in-class expense management software can help you hardwire compliance into your expense management process:

  1. Automate policy – Pre-empt claim submission compliance issues by making sure the system catches it before you have to. Set up reminders and validation criteria so users enter the required information from the start. Define specific procedures, expense categories and cost types so users can navigate the expense management software step by compliant step.
  2. Deploy flexibility and configurability – Your travel expense policy never changes, right? That’s what we thought. With constant revisions on allowances for mileage, cell phone rate, eligible deductible expenses and more, you need the flexibility best-in-class expense management delivers to make updates. The ability to keep up with changing internal policy and updated government travel reimbursement rules gives you a major advantage. Flexibility means that you can configure and reconfigure expense management workflows in a timely fashion without costly extra IT support.
  3. Prompt correct expense submissions with intuitive UI – An intuitive user interface in your expense management software means time savings and more accurate submissions for 100% compliance because users understand what they need to do. Wouldn’t it be great if users didn’t call up your team for support to interpret what expenses are eligible and what information is needed every month? Built-in rules about what to submit and ceilings on certain claim types can save you a lot of babysitting time and headaches.
  4. Reduce data entry errors – Mobile apps give users the ability to submit expenses as they occur instead of waiting for days or weeks, when details are suddenly fuzzy and the pile of receipts becomes overwhelming. This means reduced chances of errors and happier end users. Prompts for digital receipt capturing and data entry on the spot can dramatically improve compliance.

Expense management doesn’t necessitate submission deadline panic. We have the technology, and you have the digital know-how, to liberate line managers and finance teams from end-of-month expense battles to focus on higher value tasks. To soothe your expense management pain, contact us for a demo or visit our website for more information.

Jessica Tatlow at Unit4

Jessica Tatlow

Higher Education and Not for Profit
Jessica Tatlow has been with the company since 2015 as a campaign manager and Director of the North America Marketing team, and now as the Global Marketing Director for Higher Education and Not for Profit. She determines the strategic marketing direction and planning for both the Higher Education and Not for Profit businesses at Unit4 across the full channel mix. Before joining Unit4 Jessica was a marketing consultant for organizations in industries including tech, health and non-profit. Jessica has a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and a Master of Communication degree from the University of Ottawa.