Having analysed our company’s mobility needs, we have enough data to start to develop our travel expense management methodology.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING AN OPERATING METHODOLOGY FOR TRAVEL EXPENSES MANAGEMENT
To pick the most suitable methodology, we must analyse the effectiveness of each system. We should ask ourselves which is most practical for our company and which will involve least management time later on.
f there are only a few people travelling in the course of their work, we may choose to work with advances or company cards. However, in the opposite case, with lots of people on the move, we may decide that the reimbursement option suits us better, adding the amount that the employee has spent to their wages. The most common strategy is a combination of the two options, setting out in the expense policy which expenses can be advanced and which the employee must cover until reimbursement.
OVERSEEING THE PROCESS
The entire travel expense management process needs somebody in charge of making sure it runs smoothly. The mobility plan must define the number of people in charge and their role in the process. In a typical process, we define 3 necessary profiles:
• The employee that generates the expenses and drafts the travel expense reports.
• The supervisor that reviews the expense report.
• The professional in the Human Resources or Accounting Department that reimburses the expenses on behalf of the company.
Once we know the total number of people with mobility needs, the number of expense supervisors required can be established. Supervisors should not be overloaded with work.
Monitoring expenses in an extremely manual process that can be very tedious. As such, in order to minimize errors, it is important not to draft the report on the last day of the month and inundate the supervisor.
It is best to try to process the receipts on a weekly basis, especially if there is a significant volume. The more the process is divided up into manageable chunks, the easier it will be for the supervisor to monitor expenses. If there are only a few people travelling or it is not possible to process claims weekly, one option is to set a day the week before the last week of the month to avoid an influx and backlog during the last couple of days.
EXPENSES COVERED BY THE COMPANY
One important aspect that the company must decide is which expenses it covers and which it considers unnecessary and unrelated to work. This distinction must be made very clear in the expense policy. This must include, for instance, the number of meals per day and the means of transport (taxi, public transport, etc.).
To manage travel expenses more effectively, it is important to conduct a monthly analysis of the factors indicated in order to improve monitoring and optimize them in the following financial cycle.