Understanding the Basics of Expense Reimbursement

Look around long enough and you’ll be able to find an article or a report about some politician or public figure swindling expenses. For this reason, many of us look upon the idea of expense reimbursement as a little bit weird.It’s something many don’t feel comfortable in dealing with, as well, as they feel like others might see them as trying to get back money they don’t need or deserve.

However, when you aren’t claiming expenses for your fifth home in Costa Rica, it can feel a lot easier making these claims to your company or your employer. After all, when you look at how much your expenses are costing you it can be a real body blow – expenses can take up a large chunk of your wages every month.

However, expense reimbursement isn’t something that you should feel worried or challenged by. Some of the most common forms of expense reimbursement (which are totally legitimate) include;

  • Travel expenses – such as lodging, flights or ground transport;
  • Eating out – and other living costs associated with going to work;
  • Business expenses – such as wining & dining clients, purchasing supplementary materials or even driving expenses.

However, some other businesses will even give you expense reimbursement on things like entertainment products if it’s to help snatch new business. Some companies will even be happy to cover expense reimbursement for things like dry cleaning and even gym membership. In short, you shouldn’t be leaving your expenses totally unchecked!

Company Credit Cards

One of the most popular forms of company policy now is the company credit card. They are given to collaborators who are regularly travelling on business, typically for those who are dealing with clients and networking. Instead of having to pay expenses out and then get them back, you can simply get a company credit card and cut out the middle man.

However, you’ll still have to give some form of report when you get back from the trip so don’t expect the company not to notice your fantastic new watch which just “appeared”!

Always be sensible with expense reimbursement as many people abuse it and end up costing themselves money, respect and probably their job. It’s not worth losing everything over, so be sure that you are fair and honest when it comes to using company credit cards for expenses.

Remember that a good expenses program needs sound justification for every purchase made, so you can’t start sticking leather jackets and Sony PlayStations down on there just because you wanted one. You have to be ready to play the game, and every company is obviously pretty strict on what kind of expenses their own policy covers.

Typical Expense Reimbursement Protocol

If you are worried about talking expenses in your business, you should consider just going and speaking to the head of your group or your team in the business. They can tell you flat out what the situation is – many businesses today offer some form of expenses scheme so make sure that you take this into account.

Don’t let a fear of being rejected or being seen as a freeloader put you off asking, though. When life is so exceptionally expensive it’s your right to get back the money that you missed out on traveling to work.

Manage your Expense Reimbursement with Pipefy!

Pipefy’s Expense Reimbursement Template is designed to simplify your team’s expense reporting, centralising the information and helping coordinate reimbursements.

Using Pipefy to manage your expense reports will make life a lot easier: reimbursement requests can be easily opened with all the information necessary for their appropriate treatment.

Written by
Isabelle Wuilleumier Salemme
Head of Customer Support @Pipefy. She uses her extensive Pipefy knowledge to help users make the best of Pipefy via support and writing informative content pieces. Besides being in charge of support, she's an avid reader, a coffee lover, and a professional photographer.

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