We speak to many small business owners that say they need greater control over what their staff are claiming for on expenses but don’t know where to start. The answer is simple – a travel and expense policy.
A policy governs what can be reimbursed, at what rates – and most importantly what can’t. Many businesses start off with informal rules passed on like a game of broken telephone, believing (or hoping) that employees will make sensible decisions. But that puts pressure on your staff who are left to second guess right from wrong.
A £50 bottle of Prosecco?
That’s simple sales entertaining, right? What may seem acceptable to one business, could be senseless spending to another and it’s hard to tell where to draw the line. Then there’s the dilemma of different rules for different folk. Some departments may get away with excessive expenses while others feel the pressure to control their costs? Is it fair?
What will a travel and expense control?
For any business looking to introduce fair rules and processes around what employees can reclaim, a travel and expense policy is your first port of call. Here’s some details around what a good policy of this type will contain.
- The rate of reimbursement for business mileage travelled by car
- The maximum amount you can reclaim for train travel and what class you can travel
- How much you can reclaim for breakfast, lunch and dinner while on business
- The maximum price of a hotel stay depending on the city you’re in
- If there are preferred methods of booking business travel such as a corporate booking tool (you may have negotiated rates)
Every business will have different requirements and unique situations that call for different costs that are incurred. For that reason, you’ll be best placed to stipulate what the parameters are. The problem is that many companies don’t have a framework in place giving guidance to employees. Where do you start?
Create a travel and expense policy in a few clicks
That’s why we built this simple travel and expense policy creator for you. All you have to do is input your rules in a few categories to create a customised policy for your business. You can then edit it as you see fit. It’s a starting point to get a workable document you can then use to create a common understanding around what can be spent on behalf of the business.
And if you already have a policy, you can use it to ensure you are up to date with some of the latest rules and you have all the boxes checked.
There are just six questions and it will take about three minutes to complete. What you’ll get is a fully customisable expense policy template that you can edit and make your own. No strings or obligations – and we won’t record your answers, so it’s yours to use.
Lara Edwards is content manager for marketing SMB at Concur.