If you’re either just beginning to figure out your company’s travel policy or you know that your policies need an update, this is the guide for you. Adapted from our recently published white paper, “Best Practices for a Smoother Expense Reporting & Auditing Process,” this blog is meant to help you take the first steps toward creating travel policy that actually works.
Let’s review the steps of implementing a process to automate expense reporting (which is what travel policies apply to) and establishing travel policies themselves:
Creating Travel Policy
Step 1: Setting up policies
In this stage, your company may be just beginning and you have your first employees, leaving you with the notion that you need some kind of guidelines for how to control expenses that your employees will incur. In this stage, you’ll consider the types of policies, the wording of those policies, and whether you want to implement travel or expense preapproval.
Common types of expenses: These are the most common types of expenses that you will probably encounter. For detailed policy recommendations, be sure to check out the full white paper.
Per diem meals
Step 2: Setting up approval processes.
In this stage, you need to decide who will be charged with managing the expense reports that will come in from employees in addition to the kind of approval you think will work best for you.
Step 3: Establishing reporting.
Here you’ll need to configure the kinds of data that you want or need from all that data entry. Since all that data is being brought into the system, you might as well take advantage of the insights that they can provide.
The question now becomes how to ensure that the process is working and that the data meets quality standards as well as policy requirements.
For recommendations on the audits that will save you time and money, see the full white paper.
Step 5: Performing quarterly reviews.
Once the system has been established, you need to maintain and follow up on that system to ensure that it’s running smoothly and not causing more problems than it’s actually fixing. Areas to review include the type of data collected for reporting, audit procedures, the amount of time it takes to approve an expense report, the type of corrections and rejections based on the configuration and requirements, and which policies are being triggered and which are not.
For recommendations on the types of information most helpful to glean from quarterly reviews, see the full white paper.
Step 6: Annual policy maintenance & updates
This final step actually sends you back to the beginning to draw upon data from quarterly reviews for making changes or revisions to existing policies.
Learn more about our annual policy update recommendations in the full white paper.
We hope that this quick introduction to creating travel policy that works will help you begin thinking about the policies you need to implement or alter. Get detailed information about recommended policies, recommended reports, and recommended audits to run in our free white paper.
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