Best Way To Manage Your Expense Claims
From planning, visiting new places, staying at nice hotels, there are plenty of reasons that make business travels so appealing for young professionals. But once you’ve returned from your trip, this is where the tricky part starts.
Filing your expenses.
Expense claims are part of the business process where employees spent their own money for business purposes and asked for reimbursement from companies.
Types of Expense Claim
Businesses, regardless of the sizes, will eventually need to reimburse an employee for an expense. It's important for travel managers to understand the different types of expense claims and how to account for them.
Business expense claim
When an employee used their own money for business purposes, such as paying for office supplies, having a meal with clients or business partners, participating in training programs, paid seminars or exhibitions, they can file for reimbursement.
Travel and mileage claim
These expenses can be claimed and usually include flight tickets and accommodations that can be booked in advance.
Medical expense claim
Whenever their employees spent money on medical treatment, health premiums, or other medical-related expenses, they can claim these expenses.
Other travel expenses that cannot be predicted beforehand:
Standard mileage rates.
When employees use their personal vehicles to attend business-related meetings, trips, or seminars, they can claim mileage reimbursements for the money they spent on gas.
Per Diem travel expense.
When corporate travelers go on business trips, companies usually provide a per diem allowance for transportation, meals and other incidental travel expenses. Employees can claim these back when they return.
How do you claim these expenses?
The end goal of expense reimbursement is to ensure that business-related transactions are administered and settled with efficiency, accuracy, and accountability to the satisfaction of companies and employees.
Unfortunately, expense reimbursement process often involves lengthy emails or the less efficient paper forms. As such, the finance team spends too much time on verifying data, processing claims, approving them, and paying the employee back.
Here are some tips for you to make the process more effective.
1. Stay organized
It seems like a no-brainer but the first thing that would help you stay on top of the complex claim process is by staying organized.
Have a clear and transparent travel policy regarding travel expenses and reports.
Have a filing system. Create a system for any expense documents, i.e. an inbox for items you haven’t reviewed, an in-process box, etc.
Time management. Keep a running to-do list to make sure that you're on schedule in your reimbursement process.
2. Set up a good reimbursement process
Companies need to find out their employees’ travel demands to come up with a simple and streamlined reimbursement system to avoid any confusion and reduce the amount of time spent on submitting reports.
Keep the report as detailed and accurate as possible by including information such as total amount or purchase, dates, the names of the seller/supplier, and description of the goods/services purchased.
Provide necessary records to support the claim, i.e. receipts, invoices, credit card statements, tickets, or vehicle logs.
Establish a centralized system to submit expenses and the proof of payment.
3. Use expense claim software
Do you know what the most effective method to manage employee’s expense claim is? Automation.
Manual processes make it difficult to handle all the incoming costs, particularly if hundreds of employees sending their information at the same time. This problem gets even worse if companies still use paper receipts, as they may be hard to read or provide an incomplete record into the costs.
Get an automated system in place to eliminate data entry and streamline how employees record expenses.
Here are some of our favorite expense claim softwares:
Expensify enables businesses to manage the expenses through its real-time, automated data and tracking processes right from making payments to the finalization of expense reports.
With this software, you only need to snap a picture of your receipts and the app will do the rest. You can add expenses using its mobile app or you can opt for website uploads, receipts sent to a dedicated email address and specific credit card accounts, both personal and corporate. You can also capture images from a web browser by using a Google Chrome extension or import them by using Dropbox or Evernote.
It provides an efficient way to keep your accounts in order because it will organize those receipts into reports automatically. Likewise, approvers can approve directly from their email inbox, including rejecting a single expense. Policy violations are clearly tagged and identified. The best thing? It has an automatic approval feature, which can automatically approve and reimburse any report without a policy violation.
Here are some of the key features of the software:
Credit card import: You can import your card transactions into the system for automatic receipt merging and coding.
Unlimited receipt scanning: Upload the pictures of any receipts and it will automatically transcribe the content and record it.
Corporate card reconciliation: You can manage corporate spending, review unsubmitted expenses, and confirm statement from a single platform.
Multi-level approval workflows: Create approval workflows to ensure your business has complete control over employee’s spending.
GPS mileage tracking: You can log your mileage automatically.
Delegated access: Supervisors or managers can grant permission to their colleagues to create, approve, or submit reports. They can also grant auditors review-only access.
Custom reports: You can create custom reports that can be easily exported and used outside of Expensify.
Some of the applications that can be integrated with Expensify include: Uber, Netsuite, Egencia, Tsheets for duty of care, Dynamics 365, Xero, and Quickbooks. Traveling to Southeast Asia? It also offers integration with Grab.
Our thoughts: Expensify ensures transparency in record-keeping since it allows you to keep summaries of various accounts, making it one of the most comprehensive travel tracking applications you can get today.
Zoho Expense helps simplify your expense reporting, from submission to reimbursement.
With this app, employees can enter data in several ways, i.e. capturing receipts using its mobile app, dragging and dropping the receipts to its website, emailing receipts to the employee’s dedicated ID, or synchronizing their IDs with the corporate or personal credit cards. Moreover, it offers an add-on for the Google Chrome web browser.
It also has a "bulk add expenses screen" so you can organize a lot of expenses on one page. You can enter the expense date, merchant, category, and amount, and link the receipts. It also categorizes users as administrators, approvers, and submitters. The role of each user can be expanded, so employees can summarize and approve their own expenses and save time for the managers.
The key benefits of Zoho Expense:
Automatic data entry: You just need to scan receipts or credit card statement and the app will automatically record the data.
Automatic accounting of expenses: Approved expenses are automatically recorded.
Accelerate approval process: With automated approval reminders for managers and one-click approvals, employees will get reimbursed faster.
Our thoughts: We found Zoho Expense to be more intuitive for SMB administrators and accounts, but it is still a valuable tool for business travelers.
Rydoo Expense is an expense reporting solution designed to automate the expense management process, suitable for businesses of all sizes, including independent contractors. It also puts more emphasis on being both an expense and travel app.
With Rydoo, you can either book a service or add an expense. The software then gives you a list of to-do items, lets you know the status of expenses that need to be submitted or have been submitted, and invites you to integrate with such third-party apps as Dropbox or Slack.
You can photograph a receipt or enter the data manually. The app lets you center a receipt on your screen and will automatically take the photo once it is in focus. From there, you can manually add whatever required data is missing and then you can save it to send with other expenses or immediately submit it for approval. It can align individual expenses with company policies before they can be included in an expense report and let the approver see the unsubmitted expenses.
Our thoughts: Rydoo is the best choice for SMEs that are building international relationships with overseas offices, simply because their interfaces are available in numerous languages and will reimburse employees in their local currency.
How can Betravelo help?
A corporate travel management software, such as Betravelo provides a complete travel management solution for companies, from handling the booking of flights and accommodation, managing travel expenses and improving data collection for easy reimbursement process.
Betravelo captures all travel-related data in real time, so corporate travelers can continually monitor their travel spending and align it with their company's travel budget and policy. Besides, the software logged all your travel expenses in one place automatically.
It provides automated invoices and generates travel reports featuring dates, traveler’s names, flights, accommodation and more. Here’s the best thing about it: all of these data can be integrated with the expense reporting apps of your choices such as Expensify.
With all you travel elements managed and organized in one platform, Betravelo can provide travel managers and travel agents better insights into their traveler’s behavior and spending. This way, they can easily identify any savings opportunities for the company.
Try the demo now.