Thursday, March 30, 2023

Employers Should Enhance Their Spending Management, According to Experts

Employers Should Enhance Their Spending Management, According to Experts

Experts have urged employers to simplify expense processes, including submission, processing and speed of reimbursement, following a new survey.

The Inconvenient Expenses study, from Just Eat for Business, surveyed the nation’s office workers to discover how their organisation handles expenses, what the reimbursement schedule is like, and what workers wish they could improve about the process.

The survey revealed that nearly a third (30%) of respondents would like their organisation’s expense process to change, as many workers are frustrated with confusing expenses policies, which can sometimes result in slow reimbursement times – if at all. 

With many of us dealing with the stress of the rising cost of living and trying to navigate a return to the office, it’s crucial that employers look to streamline their expense processing procedures, in order to retain employees and reduce time spent on unnecessary admin.

Experts have shared their advice, calling for organisations to simplify their expenses processes to improve efficiency, as well as to maintain employee satisfaction.

Ashley Amor, co-founder of PeopleFindFast, specifically notes that reimbursement times are a major sticking point for many businesses, as are confusing expense policies:

“While there is no specific law regarding expense report reimbursement deadlines, there is widespread agreement among professionals that waiting more than 30 days after submission is not acceptable. Companies should define their reimbursement procedures very explicitly.

“Complicated and long expenditure reimbursements not only cause inefficiencies throughout the organisation but also negatively impact employee satisfaction. Companies should create a comprehensive business expense policy that clearly identifies which company expenses are eligible for reimbursement and which are not. This will speed up the reimbursement process.

“Software that automates company operations can make a huge difference in employee reimbursement. Finance teams can use expense management software to replace paper reports with smart reporting solutions that deliver accurate and real-time data on all business spending.” 

Caleb Riutta, Co-Founder at Offer Sesame, weighs in on the study, commenting on the often confusing expense policies which can sometimes leave employees ineligible for their expenses after submission:

“Many business purchasing policies are overly complex, confusing, or even contradictory in an attempt to cover every possible circumstance. On the other hand, some businesses lack explicit policies and instead rely on employees to utilise their best decision, which may not coincide with the financial department’s.

“For example, employees may unknowingly spend outside of policy and be unable to get reimbursed in both circumstances, putting them at an economic disadvantage simply for trying to execute their jobs. Finance should support systems that ensure personnel comply with the policy in the first place, rather than reprimanding them after they’ve done something wrong.” 

So, how can employers look to quickly reimburse regular expenses – such as food or drinks, which account for 31% – while reducing admin time on both sides?

Lucy Cantan, Sales and Partnership Director at Just Eat for Business, weighs in on the polls: “Completing and processing admin for expenditures such as lunch or work dinners can be time consuming for all involved – whether you’re an employer or employee. However, it’s really important that everyone receives what they’re owed and continues to benefit from paid-for meals and travel costs.

“That’s why we encourage businesses to take advantage of schemes like Just Eat Pay, which reduces the hassle of completing and processing expense forms, and means employees and employers alike can focus their efforts elsewhere.”