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Reimbursed expense report

How Do I Get Reimbursed for an Expense Report?

Welink Legal

Welink Legal

Summary:

 

1. The Expense Report: Definition 

  • a) What is an expense reimbursement policy?

  • b) Reimbursable expense examples

  • c) Why do businesses need expense reimbursement policies?

  • d) How can businesses prevent expense reimbursement fraud?

2. Conclusion

 

 

1. The Expense Report: Definition 

 

 

a) What is an expense reimbursement policy?

 

An expense report is a policy by which an organization allows employees to submit a request for reimbursement for personal expenses that have been incurred. The organization will reimburse an employee for the expense as long as certain conditions are met, which may include the submission of an expense report.

 

The primary purpose is to avoid fraud from occurring within an organization. The policy is also used to assure employees that they will be reimbursed for expenses that were necessary to perform their job and were incurred while they were acting in their capacity as an employee.

 

 

b) Reimbursable expense examples

 

  • Travel-Related Expense Report (TRE)

This type of report is submitted by an employee when he/she is traveling on business or pleasure for work. It contains trip information from his/her itinerary (date, time and place) along with all required details such as airline ticket number and passenger information (name, address and contact phone number).

 

  • Communications Expense Report (CER)

This type of report is submitted by an employee when he/she incurs any communication expenses while conducting business on behalf of their employer. It is not uncommon to incur communication expenses when accessing information from the Internet or sending an email when conducting business.

 

  • Supplies Expense Report (SER)

This type of report is submitted by an employee when he/she incurs any office supplies or equipment purchase expenses that are needed to perform his/her job duties at work. These  management tools may include purchasing a printer, fax machine, copier, computer or accounting software  which all contribute to business operations for the organization.

 

  • Transport Expense Report (TER)

This type of report is submitted by an employee when he/she has to travel for business or pleasure for work and has to incur any transport costs. These travel expenses  include the cost of plane tickets, bus fare, cab fare, or even hotel room expenses.

 

  • Meals and Entertainment Expense Report (MER): 

This type of report is submitted by an employee when he/she incurs any meal and entertainment expenses while attending client meetings with business associates or colleagues who are also attending the meeting at his/her workplace.

 

 

c) Why do businesses need expense reimbursement policies?

 

  •  To track the expenses incurred for business-related reasons. 

This allows the organization to be able to control a number of aspects and identify trends.

 

  • To avoid the organization from having to pay for personal expenses. 

Employees may incur an amount of expense that is not related to their business duties, due to different reasons such as error in calculating their reimbursable expenses, fraud or abuse of the policy.

 

Most often than not, it is cheaper for the organization and more convenient for the employee if they purchase these materials and equipment through the company's credit card or through an online store that offers discounts to employees (i.e.: Microsoft Store, Apples Store).

 

  • To be able to keep accurate track of their expenses.

This will help the organization to reduce expenses and bring them under control to increase profitability.

 

  • To avoid any potential personal liability for reimbursed employees. 

Most employee policies for reimbursing expenses will require an employee to submit an itemized list of expenses, along with receipts. The receipt is usually needed in case the employee misstates his/her expenses or the reimbursement is questioned. This may prevent a court from finding the employee personally liable for misuse of funds due to falsified expense reports.

 

  • To cut down on expenses. 

As stated above, employees may purchase office supplies and equipment through their employer's online store or credit card, which provides them with discounts.

 

 

d) How can businesses prevent expense reimbursement fraud?

 

  • Implementing the correct expense reimbursement policies and procedures

This is the first step towards preventing fraud. The policy should be clearly stated and the method of reimbursement should be consistent.

 

  • Using an auditing system

This helps organizations to ensure that employees use expense report forms correctly and submit all required receipts, which helps prevent employees from submitting fraudulent expense reports.

 

  • Ensuring that employees have access to approved expense reimbursement forms

An employee may not receive a reimbursement request form. Although he/she has the right to submit an expense report, his/her employer may not want him/her to do so. An employee should always check with his/her manager or supervisor before submitting any expenses report.

 

  • Employee awareness

To be able to prevent fraud, it is important that every employee knows about the organization's expense report policy and procedures. This helps him/her to be aware of the restrictions and guidelines established by the organization.

 

  • Ensuring that expense report forms are submitted on time

This is a very important part of an organization's expense report policy. An employee should always check with his/her supervisor before submitting any claims. If an employee submits a claim after working hours, he/she may not be able to receive a reimbursement due to the end of work period.

 

 

2. Conclusion

 

Preventing employee expense reimbursement fraud is a very important component within many organizations. An organization's expense reimbursement policy and procedure is essential in preventing fraud and abuse. It is important for employers to ensure that they have the correct policy and procedures in place, along with the correct auditing system. 

 

Most importantly, employee awareness should be present within an organization to help prevent employee expense reimbursement fraud from occurring. By providing employees with a clear understanding of the policies, guidelines and procedures an organization may be able to avoid unnecessary loss of money within their organization.

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