An expense report is the statement covering all the expenses of official or personal travel of an employee that is to be submitted to the employer for the purpose of reimbursement. Expense reports also serve the purpose of personal record of the expenses or for accounting and tax payment preparation. The expenses generally include air/train fare, hotel accommodations, food expenditures and other travel-related expenses. Often, the employees take too much time for the submission of expense report, but the process should be quick. The process of expense reporting can be made simple and quick only through automation with web-based expense report management software like Expense Management Automation (EMA) and Ceridian Expense Manager.
With these programs, the employee submits the report online to the approval authority and faxes the receipts. Almost all the companies are following this method of automation so that employees can avoid the errors involved in manual entry and submission of reports. The fast submission of expense report leads to quick reimbursement, which in turn provides visibility and control for the compliance of the standards of audit and accounting. As it shortens the reimbursement cycle, employees’ motivation and thereby operational efficiency increases.
Every organization should have a standard format of employee expense report form that should be easy for employees to use. However, as per a survey conducted by one popular Boston-based research organization, for every five dollars a company spends, one dollar is spent towards employee travel expenses. So the employee travel reimbursement expenditure occupies a vital role in the total expenses after salaries. Thus, most of the companies are taking a hard look at employee travel expenses. They have begun to implement expense report management software for reducing and analyzing travel expenses so that they can make Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with airline companies, hotels, etc. for availing them of discount prices.
Companies should insist on timely, accurate and honest expense reports. Every employee has to follow all the rules and regulations of the travel expense reimbursement policy of the organization, while furnishing all the expense details of his travel along with documentation. After submission of the report, the employee has to obtain approval from the concerned Approval Department of the company. Then only the Finance