Tighten your expense account policy

When expense accounts get padded, it's often because employees are given too much control over the process. Here are some tips for tightening your policy. 

Develop a clear, written expense account policy and have employees sign it. It doesn't hurt to add some examples that illustrate common violations, such as "Dry cleaning is not a business expense," and "Discussing your job duties over lunch with a friend does not make the meal a business expense."

Expense Account

  • Require employees to supply travel calendars to the accounting office so that travel dates and places can be matched with receipts.
  • Set a deadline for turning in receipts.
  • Accept only original receipts so that you can avoid duplication.
  • Let employees know that the receipts they turn in are subject to audit.
  • Apply the policy evenly, whether the perpetrator is upper management or rank and file.
  • Watch for patterns, like unexplained increases in expenditures, and investigate.
  • Have employees use corporate credit cards for travel expenses so you will receive the statement.
  • If possible, have someone in the accounting office make the travel arrangements for other departments to ensure a consistent policy is always followed.
 
 
 
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