When times are tough for employees, with the cost-of-living increasing, you can put in place expense policies to ensure that claims staff make are accurate and within expectations.
With inflation running at around 10% last autumn, it’s difficult for employees to keep track of exactly what the things they buy cost, while some might be tempted to use the increases to try and stretch expenses claims for purchases that should not be included.
But your business can avoid ending up in this situation by putting in place a framework where you implement expense rules, to ensure purchases are minimised, nothing is claimed that shouldn’t be, and the business remains cost efficient.
Allstar Business Solutions MD, UK Fleet, Paul Holland, said: “When employees are under pressure financially, it helps to put in place rules and policies so everyone knows where they stand and that way, the business has control.
“Using a card to pay for fuel and business travel costs is a great way to ensure expenses are controlled. It takes the pressure off an employee because they haven’t got to use their own money to pay for work expenses, and then claim it back. So, it removes that cashflow issue, and any awkward conversations down the line about purchases that should, or shouldn’t, have been made.”
It may seem easier to let employees pay for business expenses such as accommodation and subsistence out of their own pocket, and then get them to reclaim it at a later date.
But doing it this way leaves the process open to confusion. With a variety of receipts and claims submitted later it can be harder to understand exactly what was bought, when and for what purpose.
By using an Allstar Business Expense card, you can control what can be purchased in categories such as travel, subsistence and vehicle accessories, and even set daily allowances – all of which is reported on the online dashboard.
Crucial to ensure that employees are not wrongly purchasing items they then expect the employer to pay for is to have secure payment methods that limit how and what can be bought. Using the Allstar Online dashboard, reporting is in place that shows historic, and current, purchasing trends, with every purchase and receipts are at your fingertips.
A new area of expenses businesses are having to contend with is electric vehicle charging payments. It can be difficult to control and also understand, because of the varied nature of charging costs and tariffs, both at home and on the public charging network.
At Allstar, we’ve already planned a solution for this. Allstar Homecharge takes the stress of payments for the driver by paying the electricity supplier directly and recording all home charging and payment history through the Allstar Driver Homecharge portal and app.
On the road, using the Allstar One Electric card and our charging provider network takes care of all payments and supplies the employer with one consolidated invoice.
That means fleet managers have full visibility of tariffs, payments, energy consumption and home charging sessions for every vehicle.
“By giving employees the means to purchase fuel and business expenses through cards, you take away the problem of unnecessary purchases going through expenses, as everything is so clearly defined and controlled centrally,” said Paul.
“And for the employee worried about the cost of living, there’s the relief they aren’t saddled with paying for expenses up front, when they can least afford them. So they will be happier with their employers and probably more productive too. It’s a win-win for everyone: better control over costs, lower risk of mistakes and less stressed employees.”