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Do You Have A Travel & Expense Policy? Do Your Employees Know About It?

Romy Andrews - Monday, April 20, 2015

Travel and related expenses (T&E) can quickly eat up a significant portion of a company’s total operating expenses. Airfare and hotels are often named as the biggest expenses and approximately 40-50% of employees book their travel accommodations outside of the corporate system.
Businesses often incorporate a T&E policy to exert control over big expenses, including travel, to protect the bottom line yet employees may choose convenience over policy. Download “How to Create a No-Questions-Asked Expense Policy for All,” a short eBook from Concur, and learn how to create a T&E policy that your employees will follow. 

Many businesses have a T&E policy; however, whether or not employees follow it is another matter. Your travelers may have different ideas about which expenses are reasonable and which aspects of the policy they can easily follow. They may choose the hotel closest to their destination, for example, which may not be an approved vendor or meet budgetary restrictions. By the time they submit their receipts for reimbursement, it’s too late. You have vendors to pay or an employee to reimburse whether it’s in your budget or not. You can have a T&E policy that offers the convenience your employees want, balanced with the cost savings that protects your business finances by outlining these parameters: 

1. What is reimbursable: Most businesses will reimburse airline fees, car rentals, or mileage if employees use personal vehicles. However, will you reimburse a first-class airline ticket, checked luggage, mini-bar or room service, or hotel laundry service? 

2. Choose approved vendors: You may be able to negotiate with hotel chains or car rental agencies for better pricing options, especially if you use them often. Give employees choices that also protect budgets. 

3. Keep it easy to follow and enforce: Make your T&E policy easy to find, understand, and follow to improve compliance. Get feedback to make sure your parameters remain easy to follow. 

Keeping an eye on travel expenses is just as important as other business-related spending. Download “How to Create a No-Questions-Asked Expense Policy for All,” and contact The Resource Group. A Microsoft Dynamics GP partner out of Washington, for additional information on creating a T&E policy that strikes the right balance between the comfort of your traveling employees and protecting your profits.

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