Every company has expenses that are critical to its operational needs, business decisions, and short-term and long-term goals. Whether it’s the utility bills in an office space, or procurement of business tools and equipment, or outsourcing essential functions, companies like yours have to keep track of their spending to make sure they are profitable and self-sustaining. While many expenses are usually covered by a purchasing or office management department, employees often have to pay out-of-pocket for work-related needs and be reimbursed by their employer at a later date. An expense reimbursement form is an important and necessary document for your company.
Understanding the Need for a Reimbursement Request Form
Imagine having a direct report pay several hundred dollars to purchase a round-trip flight for a work conference and not properly documenting what was bought, when, and how much. How would you verify what was spent? How would you know which accounts or budgets to pull the money to reimburse your employee? An employee reimbursement request form gives your organization a way to formalize the repayment process, document details for accounting purposes, balance operational budgets, and make sure that there is approval for repayment. Having a reimbursement request form is good for everyone involved.
Implementing the Use of an Expense Reimbursement Form
For field offices, such as in construction or certain types of program management, a printable simple reimbursement form may work for the employee who needs to complete a form in an area that lacks a secure connection to a business’s infrastructure networks. Electronic records are usually a great idea for any company, big or small. Repayment records can be stored electronically and recalled at any time for internal and external auditing, balancing budgets, providing backup documentation for change order requests, legal discovery, or closing out a project or work effort. Consider a reimbursement request form to be a contract document that is part of the official records for your organization. You’ll need to develop a standard employee expense claim form template to be implemented for consistent, company wide use.
Developing an Employee Expense Claim Form Template
It’s critical to have a template that is consistent and includes all the details needed for business purposes. Let’s suppose you want to establish a company procedure or process for work-related spending. Employees need a clear understanding of what is required. A thoughtfully developed expense reimbursement form takes the guesswork out of figuring what information and supporting documents, such as receipts or invoices, are needed to complete the remuneration. Form consistency allows your company to compare apples to apples when reviewing how expenses are tracked and compensated so that you can better make organizational improvements. A complete employee expense claim form template should contain the following information, at a minimum:
- Personnel Information: This includes the employee name, position, other ID, location, and functional group. If funds are sourced from certain federal and state contracts, there may be additional information that needs to be included for recordkeeping and compliance purposes. If certain expenses keep recurring for a particular group or certain position, your organization may want to consider creating an account with a particular vendor or supplier to reduce costs and establish consistency.
- Expense Details: An itemized list of expenses should be provided in the form. An employee filling out the form will need to provide the name of the product or service purchased, the individual cost, the payment method used (e.g., cash, personal credit card, or corporate accounts), the date purchased, and a brief explanation or justification that is in accordance with established company procedures, employment regulations, or industry best practices. A request form should also provide a way for an applicant to provide backup documents such as receipts, invoices, and other proofs of purchase. With a hard copy form, copies of supporting documents should be attached. An electronic system should allow for the uploading of files.
- Expense Category Information: Depending on the organization, an employee might be expected to indicate the category that an expense falls under. If not, a supervisor or reviewer might also provide this information. Categorizing the expenses usually dictates how the reimbursement will be paid. Some examples of expense categories include work-related travel costs (transportation, lodging and meals), business meetings, company-related meals and entertainment, professional license registrations and renewals, and supplies and services.
- Signatures and Acknowledgments: An employee reimbursement request form should have signatures for the applicant as well as that of any senior staff responsible authorized to approve or reject. Consider including an acknowledgment that the information provided is accurate and includes supporting information where necessary.
Deploying an Employee Reimbursement Request Form
With more opportunities for remote work or satellite office operations, business processes should not be limited to the restrictions of postal or courier delivery. The ubiquity of the internet allows for real-time completion and distribution of electronic signatures. For example, an employee on the east coast can electronically submit a request that notifies an approver on the west coast immediately. If reimbursements over a certain amount require approval at an executive or regional level, a reimbursement request form can be routed to the appropriate persons.
Rolling out such a system doesn’t require the use of bulky networking equipment, proprietary operating systems, or a knowledge of coding. The Fluix platform offers an easy-to-use solution that can be scaled to work with your organization’s needs. Generate, distribute, and collect approvals on expense forms quickly and efficiently with this platform which is cloud-based and works on any mobile device. Find out how Fluix can help you roll out an employee expense claim form template solution with a free trial that requires no credit card today.
Optimize Your Expense Management Process
- Submit business expenses faster
- Approve expenses claims remotely
- Store digital receipts in the cloud