An expense reimbursement form is a form that the employees of certain companies have to fill out to claim the reimbursement of a charge the employee paid on behalf of the company. This can be airline tickets, meals or software subscriptions.
The form is usually meant to be the starting point of the the reimbursement process. Following the completion of the form, the finance department will double check the proper completion of the form and will pass it through different stages of validation.
The first validation is from the employee’s manager who will receive the form and confirm the expense was business-related. Following validations are done by the finance department to ensure compliance with tax authorities before processing the reimbursement of the expense to the employee.
The expense reimbursement form is composed with various fields that serve as a reference to understand the scope of the expense.
We often find the following fields:
Most of the time, the employee will be the only person filling out the form but some companies will add additional fields for managers and accountants to confirm certain information like which budget should the expense be linked to or which tax rate to apply.
An expense reimbursement form has two main objectives linked to internal control.
First, it serves an accounting purpose. By collecting information on the nature of the expense, management and accounting can properly control budget spend and avoid rogue spend, which is the spend that is unaccounted for in a company.
Second, it’s used for legal reason. By making sure managers and accounting department control the nature of the expense, the company covers itself from risks linked to fraud
As a result, an expense reimbursement process is usually the first process n newly-appointed finance team will put in a place with a properly created form, usually from a pre-existing PDF template.
An expense reimbursement form template can be found on some accounting software’s websites like Quickbooks. However, most of the time it’s your accountant or finance department that creates the form tailored to your company’s target process.
We offer a template form on this website that you can use for your internal process. The template can be customize to match your organization structure and workflows. After editing the form you can whether use it directly within our software to digitalize the entire process or download it in PDF, xls or word.
A process map is a planning tool that allows employees to see the order of procedures. These are commonly called flowcharts and can be utilized in a variety of departments at a company. Expense reimbursement should have a process map associated with it as at times this process becomes complicated. A clear plan of action for who to submit these reimbursement forms can help ensure employees are paid back for expenses they’ve incurred.
The process map can also allow for expense reimbursement and proper organization of expenses. The identification of certain employees that seem to splurge on business trips can lead to policies to prohibit this. Mapping out processes can allow for brainstorming to solve problems that have been plaguing a company. Below are ways a process map can help with expense reimbursement:
Process maps can help with numerous areas of a business and not just expense reimbursement. Take a look at how a process map can improve your business today!
Exit interviews can provide valuable feedback about the expense reimbursement process. There is a chance it takes weeks or months for an employee to be paid back for an expense they took on personally on behalf of the company. A few month delay in reimbursing someone for booking a block of hotel rooms for a conference can lead an employee to financially struggle. Below are questions that can help the expense reimbursement process during an exit interview:
Exit interviews can provide the only feedback on expense reimbursement. Current employees might be afraid to voice concerns with the fear of the concern being labeled a complaint. Do not underestimate the solutions given during exit interviews as they are at times brutally honest.
A standard operating procedure is a written set of rules and processes that need to be followed. These procedures take the guessing games out of expense reimbursement. SOPs can usually be referred to in company manuals or in onboarding paperwork for new employees. Below are some examples of standard operating procedures that could impact employee reimbursement:
A set plan for expense reimbursement needs to be created. A company wants its employees to spend company money to help the business reach specific goals. Tying the hands of employees by expecting them to cover expenses and wait for months to be paid back is unacceptable.