Suffering from Delays in Travel & Expenses Reimbursements? Help is at hand!

Reimbursing employees for expenses incurred on travel and other business expenses has long been the bane of most Accounts Payables teams in organizations. Even large and well-established businesses face challenges in dealing with expense reimbursements, so imagine the plight of small businesses or startups!

According to the Global Business Travel Association, we can expect as much as a 3.8% increase in travel-related expenses in 2017. Business travel is now essential for most small businesses as they find it actually more cost effective to have senior team members travel rather than employ senior executives in different locations.

The brunt of all this has largely been borne by the Accounts Payables team, which have to manage the costs and reimbursements. Even if a good expense policy is in place and has been communicated to employees, many companies still struggle with issues like delayed reimbursements, incorrect data and proofs and issues with the expense approval process.

A delay in reimbursing employees could happen due to several reasons:

  • Employee may not submit receipts and expense sheets on time
  • Manager may not approve the expense sheet on time.
  • Accounts team may not process on time.

Whatever the reason may be, these delays are hardly something an organization can afford – it almost always causes disgruntlement in the employees mind and can reflect in his attitude at work. Morale needs to be maintained and it will suffer if employees don’t receive payments on time. Moreover, when the expense amounts are high, as is typically the case in international travel, a delay in reimbursements can put the employee at great inconvenience.

How can small businesses avoid running into these delays?

  • Eliminate any manual statements and put in automated processes which are more efficient.
  • Audit the processes and streamline them so that no manual paperwork is required.
  • Keep approvals simple but effective
  • Give employees a clear idea of what can be reimbursed and what cannot as well as the time limit in which they have to submit their expense sheets and receipts.