When you are a small business owner, it can be hard to keep track of all the tasks you need to complete. Take our typical owner: Busy Brandon. One minute he is securing a major new contract, the next holding a conference call about technical aspects of a new product, followed by bills to pay and laying out recruitment plans.
Brandon doesn’t feel he has time to manage the company expenses properly and hasn’t been able to put a proper policy in place. As a result, it’s easy for these day-to-day costs to spiral out of control.
According to insight from 1,000 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), two-thirds of all owners/partners end up doing the expense administration themselves . And on average, 4 in 10 say they are feeling stressed as a result.
It doesn’t have to be like this Brandon: four simple steps to putting in place a good expenses policy.
1. Be fair and simple
Above all, ensure your expenses policy is clear and fair. Set guidelines on what is acceptable to claim for, for example how much is allowed for expenses such as hotels and meals so that employees feel well informed on how to do the right thing.
Some job roles may have different needs, such as overseas travel, so it’s essential to be able to create, monitor and enforce a policy which allows for different spend types and limits.
2. Keep on top of it
An expense policy should be continually reviewed. Don’t wait to find out how much your employees spent – when those claims come in they can give you nasty surprises. Get a real-time reporting system that uploads transactions as they happen, allows you to tweak spending levels and create reports on how the company’s money is being used.
3. Get digital
Many businesses have a patchwork of different ways to record expenses, such as spreadsheets, written forms and paper receipts. The admin to deal with these analogue methods mounts up and tracking expenditure can be hard. Putting in place a digital solution frees up time through less data entry, improves the visibility of costs and reduces the risk of error.
4. Keep HMRC compliant
It’s important to be compliant. In order to claim back VAT, you need evidence of receipts with a VAT, description of goods and/or services, total charge, name and address of supplier and the date of purchase.
How Allstar Plus can help
Help is at hand for hard-working business owners because Allstar Plus, a unique ‘all-in-one’ business credit card and fuel card, can do all the heavy lifting of managing business expenses for you.
By putting all expenses on an Allstar Plus card, you’ll know everything is in one place, easy to find and clearly listed. With our brand new digital expense management app, employees can capture a picture of the receipt in real-time and it automatically matches up to the transaction, saving time and hassle.
The account administrator also has visibility of all cardholder transactions in real-time, complete with a digital receipt and supporting notes, all on a customisable dashboard. You can also upload data into an accountancy software package.
Those awkward conversations with staff about over-paying will be a thing of the past too, because you can set limits for spending, control how each card is used and receive consolidated HMRC compliant invoicing on fuel meaning you don’t have to keep receipts.
Find out more about what Allstar Business Solutions can do for your business’s expenses process.
 Research for Allstar Business Solutions conducted by Charterhouse in March 2019 of 1,000 SMEs