Anyone who regularly claims or processes expenses will know that they can be a time consuming affair.

Not only that, employees can lose out financially if they don’t submit their claims accurately. So, how can companies ensure they have the right processes in place to save both time and money? Here are our top tips.

Keep it simple
If a company’s expenses process is too complicated, it will take employees longer to make their claims. With that in mind, we’d recommend establishing a clear system to help employees submit theirs accurately and as efficiently as possible. This is important whether it’s a paper based form or online system you’re using. Ensure all new starters are given details of the policy and save a copy of the guide somewhere easily accessible to all for staff to refer back to. If it’s fuel expenses you’re dealing with, why not explore fuel cards

No unnecessary detail
Sticking with simplicity, companies should make sure they only ask for the details they really need from an employee in order to process the claim, whilst ensuring they have the information they need as a business to reclaim VAT where applicable. For example of fuel expenses the company will need a VAT receipt and will need a clear breakdown of business and personal mileage. Getting this right from the start will save time and will result in fewer inaccuracies. It will also avoid employees getting frustrated with the system.

Templates are available for you to distribute to employees, such as these examples.

Be fair
As well as clear, expenses processes should also be firm but fair. Employees need guidelines and a clear policy which highlights what they can and cannot claim from the business and any maximum limits for claims. It seems like an obvious one, but it will save time and prevent claims being rejected. Again, ensure the guidelines are easily accessible to all for regular reference.

Keep to schedule
It’s important to have deadlines in place so that employees know when they can claim and when they should expect to be refunded. These deadlines should apply to the finance team too. Whichever sign off process you have in place, this should be adhered to strictly by all involved. This will boost efficiency across the board, and will enable both the business and the employee to manage their finances accordingly.

Approval
Another key to an efficient process is the approval chain. Companies should ensure this is clear and that all parties are aware of who signs off what. Ensure all managers know what they can and can’t authorise, what value they can authorise to and where to pass approved claims to keep the process moving. A smooth process will help inaccurate expenses to be weeded out at manager level and employees to be retrained on problem areas.

How do you manage your expenses? Tweet us at @Allstarfuelcard