A solid expenses policy could make all the difference, and save your company thousands of pounds.
“All expenses paid!” This phrase might make business travel seem attractive to staff, but it’s been known to strike fear into the hearts of employers around the globe.
In fact, when it comes to business expenses, the topic is fraught with worry, and for good reason.
But the question remains, just how much of that mountain of money is actually spent on necessary expenses? Couldn’t the mountain be shrunk, at least a little?
How can you, as an employer, ensure that your staff are not splashing out excessively on business expenses? How can you set up clear boundaries about what is, and what isn’t an acceptable business expense?
Expenses play an enormous role in the health (and wealth) of your company’s cash flow. But how can you make sure that such expenses help and not hinder the oiling of your financial machinery?
And lastly, but certainly not least: given that UK SMEs waste £8.72bn every single year purely on managing expenses, how can you make sure that you’re not adding insult to injury by squandering inordinate quantities of time (and money) on tracking and reconciling your company expenses at the end of the month? You need an expenses policy.
If this all sounds overwhelming, don’t fear. Thanks to technology (and experience), there are now some easy changes you can make to your expense processes, which will save you valuable time and money.
Facing the expense chaos may seem like gazing into a whirlwind, but once you’re up close, it’s really very simple.
Here’s where to start with your expenses policy
Be very clear about what is (and what isn’t) an acceptable business expense. Your decision-making should be guided by two opposing forces.
Firstly, if you want staff to be happy at work, and therefore to increase productivity and diminish staff turnover, you shouldn’t be too stingy. For some employees, travel (or client entertaining) means fun and opportunity. For others it just means time spent away from loved ones – the least they can expect is a modicum of comfort.
On the other hand, being overly generous with expenses just isn’t good business sense. In fact, expenses can be a business’ achilles heel, and it’s certainly not unheard of for a business to fail purely because of excessive splashing out on day-to-day as much as travel expenses.
The best way forward is through utter clarity. Your employees will thank you for it.
No matter how small your company is, it’s worth drafting a clear expenses policy that you can then circulate to all staff, and include in any new starter packs.
An expenses policy should articulate your company’s policy on the following key factors:
● General guidelines (expense reports, receipts and authorisation processes)
● Whether certain expenses (usually over a specific limit) should go through accounts payable, instead of the usual expense process
● Expectations (including travel policies and any preferred providers)
● Taxi, public transport and mileage rules
● Rules for using company cards (for those who have one)
● Any limits for overnight accommodation and meals
● Guidelines on phone use
● Hospitality, entertaining and gifts (networking)
● Overseas rules should be clarified, if these vary from the UK
● Your policy on cash advances.
If this sounds like a lot to consider, it’s worth bearing in mind that a few hours’ work at the outset will save you precious hours – not to mention money or stress – in the long run.
But if you really want to turbo-charge your expense policy, you’ll need a trick or two
Expense policies can be broken or ignored. And even the best policy can’t eliminate all the work your accounts department has to do at the end of the month.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to automatically enforce your expense policy at every step of the expense cycle?
And even nicer if there was a way to permanently end the tedium (and time-wasting) of expense reports?
Well, now there is.
Soldo Business allows you to set bespoke budgets, limits and rules to suit each employee’s needs (and trust levels) to perfection. You can also allow or prevent online transactions, cash withdrawals or overseas use; and lock or unlock the card instantly with a single click.
You’ll have constant oversight of everyone’s spending, thanks to real-time balances and transaction information. The whereabouts of company funds will no longer be a mystery, and you can put an end to cash advances once and for all.
Your employees can use the Soldo Business app to effortlessly add transaction data, including pictures of receipts, notes & tags (e.g. project names).
A couple of clicks generate exportable reports enriched with all the transaction data added by employees or admins. You can even generate reports by tag (e.g. client lunch), giving you deeper insight than ever into employee expense activity. No more tedious expense reports taking up valuable employee time.
If you’d like to bring a new-found calm to your company’ expenses, and save precious hours (and money) in the process, join Soldo Business today.
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