How to create an effective expenses policy

You may already have an expense policy, or you may be an organisation just starting to realise that you need one.

It provides all the basic help and information you will need to create a robust expense policy document. It’s the foundation on which all effective expenses management is built. With cloud-based management tools allowing us to efficiently monitor and maintain an expense policy, there’s no longer any excuse for a failure to take control of employee costs. A properly implemented policy will save your organisation valuable time and resources, as well as helping to protect against fraud and compliance breaches.

Companies' annual estimated losses to fraud to companies are in the hundreds of billions, while the punishments for non-compliance increase - unlimited fines, prosecution and possible imprisonment.

In this white paper, we will provide best practices for a better expense management solution including,

  • Expert advice on expense policies
  • The lowdown on legislation
  • An expenses template policy document

How to create an effective policy

What is it?

An expense policy is a document that outlines how your organisation handles business-related expenses. It gives employees guidance on what can and can’t be claimed for. It provides a guide to the process of making claims, as well as what happens if there are disputes over expenses.

Why is it needed?

The primary aim is to provide a fair system of compensation for employees who incur personal expenses for business reasons. Without an effective policy, an organisation leaves itself open to spiraling costs and legal risks. The key objectives of the policy, therefore, are to:

  • Be fair and transparent
  • Control costs
  • Prevent fraudulent activity

If employees view the policy as being fundamentally fair, it prevents expenses from developing into a breeding ground for low morale, discontentment and exaggerated claims. A 2016 survey, commissioned by Webexpenses, found that nearly a third (32%) of employees who admitted to expenses fraud justified this as being a reaction to an unfair system.

With a robust and fair policy in place, everyone knows where they stand. Employees may not agree, or like, aspects of the policy but they know exactly how it works, what they can expect from the company and what is expected of them.

What makes an effective policy?

It sounds obvious, but the most effective policies are those that people adhere to. It’s something that is understood, accepted, and followed. The policy also has to be properly managed and maintained.

Here are some characteristics of an effective policy.

  1. Fair
  2. Simple
  3. Updated
  4. Well monitored and maintained
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