Travel reimbursement policy

Table of Contents

    Reimbursement for business travel is a significant expense in an organizational setup. According to a travel industry forum, business travel expenditure worldwide reached $740 billion in 2021. Therefore, ensuring the travel and expense reimbursement policy is effective is important. A payroll software like the one offered by KEKA can play a vital role in streamlining processes and enhances the workforce’s overall productivity. 

     

    Travel reimbursement essentially refers to the process of offering compensation to employees for any kind of work trip. Employees receive reimbursement for all expenses made during travel. Travel and reimbursement policy typically includes travel tickets, meals, hotel bookings, and purchases made for the client. 

     

    To receive reimbursement, an employee is required to collect and submit all documents and receipts as proof of the expenses. These documents are sent to the finance department for further processing. 

     

    Organizations have dedicated systems for processing such claims from the employee’s end. The finance department checks all the documents and ensures everything complies with the company travel reimbursement policy. They pay the approved amount to the employee as travel expense reimbursement.

     

    Travel reimbursement policy Sample

    Applicability of travel reimbursement policy

    The travel expense reimbursement policy is effective for all employees enrolled under the company undertaking business travel within or outside the country.

    Pre-travel approval is required before travel expenses can be reimbursed. Here, employees need to submit a requisition and other supporting documents for the trip. The requisition must mention every detail about the date, time, place, expense, budget, etc. 

    Companies have a template or system using which employees apply for travel requests and receive approval. 

    Purpose and Scope

    Following the submission of the travel request, the concerned department starts processing the details. Specific guidelines include a list of reimbursable expenses, clarity of travel expense reimbursement policies, and expense budget approvals. This is necessary to ensure that the employees clearly understand all the travel and expenses that are permissible as per the travel expense reimbursement policy limit. 

     

    The finance department is responsible for reviewing the details. They match every receipt with the claim amount for further verification. This also helps to ensure that all reimbursable expenses on official travel are legitimate and comply with the organization’s corporate travel and expense policy. 

    Besides, sometimes employees try to include additional expenses in the claim. The finance team checks such activities by keeping document proof for every expense. 

    After sorting every detail, the employee will receive approval for a reimbursement claim. Next, the reimbursement amount and monthly compensation are transferred to the employee. 

    Travel Authorization

    Every company’s travel expense reimbursement policy requires senior teams to determine the duration, travel date, and other related factors. Employees can not authorize their reimbursable expenses on official travel. Also, employees are required to submit an expense report after they return. It contains all the expenses, both personal and paid. The concerned department reviews the report before approving the reimbursement claims. 

    Travel Expenses Covered

    • Transportation

    One of the most essential reimbursements for travel expenses is transportation, which requires reimbursement of travel expenses. All forms of transport used during the business trip are entitled to reimbursement. It includes tickets for flights and trains, public transport, shared rides, car rentals, etc. 

    During the travel & expense reimbursement process, employees must provide payment receipts, ticket copies, and other related documents. 

     

    • Meals and Incidentals

    Employees purchasing meals or refreshments are reimbursable expenses on official travel. The company also covers expenses for purchasing meals for a client. Regular meals usually come under an employee’s per-diem (daily allowance) expense. 

    Travel expense reimbursement also covers incidental expenses during travel. For example, laundry service charges, tips to hotel staff, room service, etc., are reimbursed post-trip. 

     

    • Lodging and Accommodation

    Business travel reimbursement covers accommodation expenses, such as hotel and room charges, parking, internet costs, and more. Organizations must set clear guidelines to ensure employees spend within a certain budget. This is highly effective in keeping a check on overspending. 

    Currency Exchange

    A corporate travel and expense policy should clearly explain how to convert currency. If the employee cannot provide original documents for exchange rates along with the claim form, the reimbursement will be void. Exchange rates vary from country to country. Hence, the company must provide all information and access to a currency converter for smooth claim settlements. 

    Receipt Submission

    Companies must define clear deadlines for reimbursement of travel expenses. Employees must submit all claim forms on time for seamless reimbursement processing. 

    Reimbursement Timeline

    If a submission is delayed, the claim settlement process is also delayed significantly. As a result, the employees do not receive travel expense reimbursement on time. Companies must send reminders and strictly follow deadlines so that the employees complete the process on time. 

     

    Companies with an effective travel expense reimbursement policy are able to maintain structured financial records. Besides, it is vital in enhancing employee satisfaction and tax regulation compliance. The resources spent on reimbursing travel expenses, making reports, receiving approvals, and other related tasks can be significantly reduced with proper planning and implementation of modern tools.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. What expenses are covered under the travel reimbursement policy?

    The different expenses covered under the travel reimbursement policy are transportation expenses, client meals or entertainment, accommodation expenses, incidental expenses, currency conversion, etc.

    1. What documentation is required for travel reimbursement?

    Employees on a work trip must keep a document of every reimbursable expense on official travel, including receipts for food and drinks, expenses for client entertainment or refreshments, travel tickets, accommodation bookings, and other related documents. Collecting and storing all these documents is essential. These are attached during the reimbursement of travel expenses settlement process.  

    1. What is the process for obtaining travel expenses?

    The finance department scans and matches the claim along with the other receipts. The company takes all necessary steps to ensure the filled claims are legitimate and comply with the travel expense reimbursement policy. 

    1. Are there limits on specific expenses, such as daily meal allowances?

    Companies always check on reimbursement of travel expenses to avoid excessively high numbers. Every organization has a clear budget for every expense category.

    1. Are there travel expenses that are not eligible for reimbursement?

    Personal expenses do not fall under the travel and expense reimbursement policy. For example, if an employee chooses to do personal shopping or other activities, they are not allowed under travel reimbursement. 

     

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