The efficient management of any organization, whether big or small, requires an active workforce that implements innovative ideas for scaling up the business. Moreover, funds should be transferred seamlessly and transparently, regardless of whether they are transferred to or from the company’s corporate account. Various organizations rely on automation software to maintain all the credit and debit processes of a company’s accounts, including employee reimbursements, essential bookkeeping, tax obligations, etc. The employee reimbursement process involves a series of miscellaneous expenses incurred by the employees, such as travel, medical, auto mileage, etc.
In simple terms, we can define reimbursement as the process of payment made to the employees of the organizations by the employer for the expenses incurred by the employees from their pocket for the organization’s business activities. It Is a straightforward and understandable statement, but practically keeping track of all such expenditures and finally compensating them to the employees is a tedious task, especially for the people managing the company’s finances. Let us first decipher the complexities of reimbursable costs from the employee’s and employer’s standpoint.
From the employee’s perspective:
- The payment mode for business-related activities may differ from how employees pay for their expenses.
- Maintaining invoices and purchase records for miscellaneous expenditures is a challenging task.
- A standard reimbursement protocol has to be followed, which requires drafting all the purchase details and equally involves time and effort.
From the company’s perspective:
- The documented expense reports are full of manual errors and sometimes need to be completed.
- Employees can claim anytime, whether at the beginning or quarter of the month, and expect to be reimbursed immediately.
- Manual data entry is the worst part of processing the employee’s claims, especially if there are errors in the data.
It is the moral and legal obligation of any organization to compensate employees for every penny they spend on business-related activities. Still, there needs to be a specific guideline or rule book that clearly states all such expenditures’ categories. The proof of purchase is an essential document required for the reimbursement process. In addition to the total amount, location, time of purchase, and description of the product or service purchased, the receipt should include all the details.
Let’s have a look at the categories of expenses that fall under reimbursable expenditures.
- Transport expenses: Though it depends on the terms and conditions listed in the employment contract, most organizations need to reimburse for all sorts of transportation costs such as taxi fares, air tickets, and fixed petrol allowances. Some organizations grant travel advances to their employees to cover all such expenses, and they cannot recover this amount from the employee’s salary.
- Medical expenses: There are specific rules stated by the employment act which differentiate the reimbursable and non-reimbursable expenses for the employees. For example, the organization must reimburse the medical cost of employees who have worked for at least three months and require a day of paid sick leave.
Apart from the above-mentioned essential expenditures, there are other cost-generating factors such as meals & entertainment, communication, and big & small office purchases, which are required to be covered by the organizations after their employees incur their income into this.