Your company may require its employees to travel for business purposes. If so, any expenses your employees incur (airfare, hotel, car rental, dinner while entertaining clients, etc.) can be significant, and your company must help your employees manage those expenses.

Many companies have a reimbursement policy, meaning they will reimburse certain travel expenses incurred by their employees and take more steps to help them manage their costs. That’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Here are the top five ways that you will help out your employees with managing their business travel expenses:

1 - Have A Clear and Transparent Policy

First and foremost, your company policy on the travel business needs to be very clear and transparent, meaning that employees should easily find and understand it.

You should have a lawyer or an expert writer for you. The language within the policy should be clear, or else employees may genuinely think that they are in compliance with it when senior management believes otherwise.

If you revise your policy, send it out in an email blast to your employees and consider holding a meeting over it.

2 - Require Receipts As Proof of Expense

A good rule to follow is that for an employee to claim a business travel expense for reimbursement, they will need to display valid receipts as proof of that expense. Even if the cost is reasonable, the company won’t reimburse it without a permit.

Take note that the receipts do not need to be physical, as e-receipts are becoming increasingly common. It may be an old idea for your company to use an app that lets your employees upload receipts for the accounts payable team to view.

3 - Have A Solution For Expenses Without Receipts

Having your employees turn in valid receipts as proof of expense is undoubtedly a wise idea, but what about the costs that don’t have tickets?

For example, many hotel rooms will no longer give receipts or e-receipts, instead of using a folio to liout every charge from the hotel (nightly stay, fee, cleaning services, parking, taxes, food, etc.).

A folio can be much more confusing than a regular receipt, making it more difficult to break down expenses. This is why you can turn to a software solution that includes hotel folio itemisation as a feature, which can then read and parse out the data on individual lines to make it easier to view the expenses.

4 - Partner With Hotels and Airlines For Special Deals

You can secure special deals and discounts if your company partners with hotel room chains, airlines, and car rental companies.

This naturally eases the burden for your company because you’re reimbursing your employees for the costs.

5 - Be Vigilant For Expense Fraud

Last but not least, be vigilant in watching out for expense fraud. Expense fraud is a severe issue that collectively costs both large corporations and small businesses billions of dollars annually in the United States.

Expense fraud is when an employee deliberately and knowingly violates the terms of the company’s business travel policy to claim an expense for reimbursement. In reality,, that expense is not valid for reimbursement under the company’s policy.

For example, an employee may claim an expense for reimbursement that is invalid, claim the same payment twice on different invoices and try to hide it, or deliberately inflate a cost.

The best way to watch out for expense fraud will be to use automated software that can do an excellent job of detecting anomalies. Another way to watch out for it is to compare the suspected employee with other employees in the exact position. If that employee’s expense claims are unusually high, it’s a cause for concern at the very least.

Managing Business Travel Expenses

Every company should take action to help their employees better manage their business travel expenses, and the above tips are just five examples of what your company can do.