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Why Do You Need an Expense Policy for Your Company?

by Richard Pollina

June 23, 2022

Any business with workers who expend costs should have a robust plan in place to manage these charges. Even if you only have a few employees piling up expenses, you’ll need a guide to clarify what is and isn’t compensable. You can keep costs under control while keeping your staff motivated and productive by drafting an expense management strategy and revising it as necessary as your company expands.

We believe having a valid written expenditure policy is essential for any company. The idea is to assist you in creating an approach that benefits everyone in the company and doesn’t take several weeks to develop. Let us clarify why you need a company expense policy and tell you everything you should look for in a reasonable cost policy.

What Is the Meaning of a Company Expense Policy?

An expense policy is a collection of guidelines that specify what a company’s employees can do with the organization’s funds. They’re usually spelled out in paperwork that workers must sign after entering their employment contract.

This agreement should clearly state how your organization handles business costs and describe how employees can be compensated.

While each company’s expenditure policy is different, the majority of them include the following essential elements:

● A list of all expenses that can be reimbursed that is precisely specified.

● A step-by-step approach to filing a claim for expenditures.

● What happens if there’s a disagreement over expenses?

Many things influence the particular language of your policy. For example, if you’ve recently raised funding, it makes sense to be a little more flexible, but the company could choose to stick to a stricter budget.

What Is The Purpose Of A Company Expense Policy?

It’s easy to overlook an expense policy during the initial stages of a business, but every expanding company should consider implementing one.

When numerous employees purchase items for commercial purposes, the cost of these purchases can quickly become out of hand. In addition, people may wind up overspending or buying unneeded products if the restrictions are ambiguous (or do not exist), producing a drain on corporate funds.

Worse yet, they may abuse the system by making personal or unauthorized purchases with the employer’s funds. Therefore, expense report forgery, whether deliberate or unintentional, is a significant issue.

Even if you currently have guidelines for employee spending, formalizing them with an expenditure policy might be beneficial. Everyone remains on the same page when information is written in an official statement, making the compensation process easier and faster.

What is the best way to make an expense policy?

Although it may appear complex, setting your first expenditure policy does not have to be complicated. Start with these six suggestions:

Identify Costs, Budgets, And Groups Because you’re providing a sustainable strategy. It should have been based on the financial status of your firm. It’s a good idea to consult your CFO or, if you don’t have one yet, get professional advice if necessary to prepare reasonable budgets.

Establishing the different expense types that employees are allowed to claim is the. 

Please take into account what they’ll need to succeed in their career and what they won’t be able to afford.

As far as ordinary employee expenses go, we recommend:

● Ticket prices for planes and trains are examples of transportation costs

● Mileage reimbursement when driving their car during work, business trips, hospitality, and recreation (networking )

● ‘Meals and drinks,’ or food and water

● Seminars and resources for training

● The price of a hotel

● Fees charged by credit cards

  1. Practice Impartiality

It’s critical to be ethical to your staff when implementing your new policy. Classify all employees reasonably and don’t make exemptions; this will help everybody feel more appreciated.

Keep an eye on how long it is required to execute employee compensation. You would not ask your relatives or friends for an interest-free line of credit, and you should never ask your coworkers.

The effect of treating team members with respect is a well-functioning working environment.

  1. Maintain A Straightforward Approach

A good expense policy must be simple to read. Examine your language to see if it’s simple enough for everybody to grasp. When it’s unnecessary, you shouldn’t go too far into detail – you would not want to end up with a 50-page booklet that no one else will finish.

And when you’re at, make your expenditure report processes as simple as possible. 

  1. Continue To Update Your Information.

An out-of-date policy may not cover increasingly prevalent business travel methods like carpooling and staying in a shared economy hotel. It may also underestimate any changes in your group’s total budget.

Treat your expenditure policy as you would the rest of your company. Your firm’s status is continually shifting, and the regulations must represent that.

For instance, the restrictions and exemptions you establish in year one are unlikely to apply in year five. Your staff will have developed, and the expense policy must be modified to accommodate this.

  1. Use Technology To Your Advantage

Finally, think about how technology might help you improve your expenditure management workflow. Many previously time-consuming procedures can now be streamlined and simplified thanks to the integration of expenditure management systems and accounting software, sparing your finance staff from manually handling expense data. The issue in the past has always been that an expenditure plan was often a static concept that was likely to be glimpsed at and then forgotten about by an employee. A guideline becomes an interactive element of employees’ everyday workflow with the correct digital management setup. Not only would this save you and your staff time and energy, but it will also enhance the reliability and uniformity of your documents, putting you in a better position to deal with an examination.

What Should A Company Expense Policy Contain?

Let’s get right down to business. What are the requirements for an expense policy?

Budgets for each category of expense

To begin, you must describe who creates and controls the finances for each group or category of spending. Then, when workers are hesitant, they need to recognize who to go to. Even better, the policy can attempt to contain particular budgets for every expenditure category, such as travelling, office equipment, advertising, marketing, etc.

This may not be viable since funds vary in months and when new requirements arise. So instead, try also to include fundamental budgeting rules and standards.

A Reimbursement Strategy

When it comes to reimbursements, there are two things to keep in mind:

  1. Employees must be compensated. This is both a respectful thing to do and a lawful necessity.
  2. The staff has more important tasks than filing expense reports. Most people would put it off or neglect to do it even though it is their money!

You must be clear about what they must do to claim expenses. For example, what is the procedure, who is in charge, and is a deadline given?

These elements should be clearly stated inside the policy manual, and workers should be aware that they must be taken seriously.

Now Is The Time To Get Down To Business

Developing an expense policy is a critical duty that will undoubtedly aid you in avoiding future problems.

It’s also not overly burdensome. All you have to do now is figure out what to include and consider the unique issues your company faces.