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10 tips for effective expenses management from the CIPP

When it comes to keeping tabs on company spending, the team at The Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) has a firm grasp on the best practices.

The CIPP make it their business to stay at the forefront of the knowledge and skills required for finance professionals.

With more than 9,000 members throughout the UK, their policy and research team pride themselves on providing quality information and advice for today’s finance teams.

It’s for this reason that Webexpenses is proud to be a partner of CIPP and to help share some of the knowledge and expertise they have acquired with our users.

With expert advice from CIPP's recommendations for the best ways to ensure that your organisation is effectively managing its employee expenses.

10 top tips for expenses management

Here are CIPP’s recommendations for the best ways to ensure that your organisation is effectively managing its employee expenses.

1. Good communications

It is important to ensure that the expenses policy of the company is communicated openly and explained clearly to all staff. This should be done as part of the induction process for any new employees, so that they are aware of the policy from the start of their employment. The policy should be clearly outlined and any questions or queries should be answered in full.

It is also important to ensure that any changes to the expenses policy are communicated to all staff, so that they are up to date with the most recent version.

2. Keep it simple!

If your expenses system is overly complex and poorly explained, it is likely to result in misunderstandings and errors when employees submit their claims. Think; is the complexity of the system causing confusion and, if so, how can it be made clearer and easier to understand?

Ensuring that employees have the information they need to understand the system and that the system is simple and straightforward to use can help prevent any mistakes or misunderstandings.

3. Create a handy guide

Why not consider a crib sheet for employees to keep on their desk, listing tips and guidance on the correct expenses processes? A handy reminder can help ensure correct procedures are followed for submitting claims and speed up the process.

4. Keep documentation updated

Be sure to have any changes in information or accompanying documentation handed to a recent hire before they start in their new role to ensure that they understand the new and updated process for submitting claims.

5. Review and revise

Don’t be afraid to review procedures and take reactive decisions accordingly. For instance, it might well be that as a company grows, the current expenses model may not be suitable for the larger organisation. Consider other procedures or expense management software that might help.

6. Expert advice

Always seek guidance from trained payroll and HR professionals before making any alterations to the expenses procedures. Remember, expert advice can save money in the future, and not everybody can be an expert in the field. Take guidance from those who are.

7. Speak up

If in doubt, ask! If something doesn’t look right, then don’t be afraid to escalate up to senior staff and seek a second or in some cases third opinion before processing payments.

8. Healthy dialogue

Be sure to maintain a dialogue with other departments in the organisation and see if you can improve the system in your department based on other operations and procedures.

9. Firm but fair

Never be afraid to sayno. If the claim is extravagant, then the employee cannot be expected to be reimbursed for it. Be sure to reinforce the policy to staff if something doesn’t look right.

10. Competitive costs

Always look for ways to save money where possible. The economy is fluid and prices can vary constantly. Whilst the train may have been cheaper one day to take to a meeting, it could be that it is no longer the case and flights are cheaper. How does this impact the current procedures?

That being said, consider implementing a sustainable travel policy to help your business reduce carbon emissions and also cut financial costs.