Leadership & Productivity

How to safely navigate the world of expenses jargon

6 min read

31 August 2017

For any businesses looking to scale up, it is crucial to understand the various expenses jargon. Here's a guide.

Any business that’s looking to scale-up needs to have an organisational structure that can handle the rigours of growth.

Systems and processes that may cope with the low-level demands of a small company are liable to buckle under the strains of a larger business during the scaling up process.

A commonplace area where companies get caught out is with the management of employee expenses. A traditional paper-based approach struggle to handle the demands of a company which is growing in both size and complexity.

The solution is to future-proof your business with a digital expenses management system, with the flexibility to handle the evolving needs of any organisation – from a small startup to a multinational.

But how do you find the right system when you’re faced with an expense management world awash with a muddling mix of accountancy terms, expenses jargon and obscure acronyms? Having to try and untangle this clutter of information makes it hard to effectively compare and assess the different solutions.

It’s the kind of confusion that webexpenses is committed to tackling – removing the clutter from expense management and making it something simple and accessible. So here’s a quick guide to help you navigate some of the most common expenses jargon:

Compliance

This means making sure that all expense activities stay within the rules set, not only by your company, but by external authorities such as HM Revenue & Customs.

An effective system will provide the tools needed to minimise the risks posed by workplace fraud and compliance breaches. With a digital system, compliance checks and notifications can be automated.

Digital reporting

This is the way that digital systems allow expense related data to be easily managed and manipulated. Reports that would take hours to manually collate can now be created in minutes.

This ability to access and explore accurate data on every aspect of an expenses allows a businesses to shine a light on areas of company costs that have previously remained hidden.

Expense policy

A document which clearly states the way employees are compensated for any legitimate business costs they incur. A policy should set out what can be claimed, how it’s claimed and how much can be claimed.

Having an effective and enforceable policy is the bedrock of any effective expense management set-up. With digital system, a policy can now be actively integrated into employee workflow.

Reimbursements

This is the compensation an employee receives for any business expense they have paid for out of their own pocket. These expenses are generally incurred when employees are away from their workplace.

Providing an efficient, equitable and easy-to-use reimbursement process helps to prevent employee expenses from becoming a toxic issue.

Cloud-based

A cloud-based expense management system is one where the service can be accessed in the same way as any website. The software is stored on a third-party server rather than having to be installed onto each individual user device.

It creates a fast and simple way to handle employee reimbursements, allowing expenses to be managed from wherever an end user has an online connection. Used alongside smartphone apps, this allows paper-free handling of expenses.

Real-time

This example of expenses jargon refers to the way that digital systems provide instant access to expense-related information. It removes the time lag that exists when relying on traditional paper and spreadsheet based methods.

It allows finance teams to use real-time processes which actively monitor costs and trigger an alert whenever expenses breach any pre-defined limits that have been set.

T&E

This is a common expenses jargon usage that’s used for any employee expenses that relate to “travel and entertainment” costs. Although, it’s sometimes also used to represent “travel and expenses”.

Either way, it’s generally used as a catch-all term to cover any costs that employees may incur while away from their main workplace. You may also see it referred to as “T&S”, meaning “travel and subsistence”.

Webexpenses provides a smarter, safer and simpler way to manage and monitor employee expenses. Find out how you can future-proof your expenses by requesting a free demo.

This article is part of a wider campaign called the Scale-up Hub, a section of Real Business that provides essential advice and inspiration on taking your business to the next level. It’s produced in association with webexpenses and webonboarding, a fast-growing global organisation that provides cloud-based software services that automate expenses management and streamline the employee onboarding process.