Monitoring expenses just for one person can be difficult enough, but when you have a team of people who all claim expenses you need to make sure you have systems in place so that nothing gets missed.
It’s important to have guidelines in place so that all employees know what they can and can’t claim for. An expenses policy should be set out in writing and signed by any employee who will be making claims for expenses.
By doing this everyone will know the rules for being reimbursed and it will also prove to HMRC that you are complying with regulations.
You should keep the policy as simple as possible so that there is no confusion for the employee making the claim or for the finance team who are processing the claims.
Communicating your policy to staff
The best way to ensure that all staff have a copy of your expenses policy is for every new starter to receive it as part of their welcome pack. If you’ve only just introduced the policy to your workforce then distribute it to everyone via email or by adding it to your employee portal (if you have one). Make sure that everyone confirms back in writing or signs the document to confirm that it has been read and understood. Even if you have employees who don’t currently make expense claims, get them to read and absorb the information as one day they may find themselves in a situation where it is relevant to them. Display the policy on notice boards around your workplace.
For employees who make regular expense claims it’s a good idea to give them access to a company card. This way you can monitor and track expenses as they happen. A lot of business cards now have apps available to show when a transaction takes place in real time.
As well as the obvious company credit card there are so many options for prepaid cards. This is great if you need to set a limit on expenses that your employees claim. Software such as Soldo gives you the flexibility to add and remove users of company cards. The cards can be physical plastic cards or they can be virtual. The virtual cards are perfect if your employees are only making online purchases.
By using prepaid cards such as Soldo your employees can be sure that they will never lose a receipt. They will be prompted by the app to upload their receipt straight away, making the transactions traceable with evidence to support them for your bookkeeping. The software even integrates with your bookkeeping software. The perfect solution to streamline your bookkeeping process.
When your employee uploads their receipts via the app they are stored on the cloud. This means that you have access to them in real time. Gone are the days when expenses cannot be reimbursed or offset against your tax bill as no receipt will ever be missing!
Paper receipts are time consuming to process and difficult to establish what transaction relates to what or who! But with the visibility to keep track of all expenses as they happen there is no longer any confusion.
If HMRC decides to investigate you, all the evidence is there for them to see in one place and can be accessed quickly.
What if I don’t have company cards?
If you don’t supply company cards to your staff and your process is for them to pay out for the expenses and then claim them back, then there are also ways to monitor these transactions electronically.
With software such as Dext and AutoEntry your employees can upload each receipt to the app. For invoices they receive via email they can forward the email to a dedicated email address which will drop the invoice into Dext or AutoEntry. They also have the ability to drag and drop files from their computer into the software.
Dext and AutoEntry can also integrate with your bookkeeping software just like the company cards we mentioned before. By making this part of your expenses process you can be sure that all expenses are stored as evidence if needed.