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I have a question concerning procedures for reimbursing employees for mileage costs. In our company of 1,000+ employees the process for this type of reimbursement is manual. Is there a more streamlined process large companies use? Thank you.

Maggie McLaren's Profile

Answers

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

There are several programs like Expensify (ADP has an interesting one that I've seen, but there are many more) that can be programmed with your business rules

Topic Expert
Deborah Godfrey
Title: Budget Administrator, Business Manager, ..
Company: Seeking Employment
(Budget Administrator, Business Manager, Project/Program Manager, Seeking Employment) |

Hi Maggie,

All of the organizations (large & small) that I have worked for use automated ERP packages for the mileage reimbursement process. I have worked with various ERP packages (Oracle, PeopleSoft, etc.) and have gained valuable knowledge from using them. The beauty of the packages is that it makes your life and that of the employee's much easier throughout the year. There are benefits to using such packages:
accuracy
aligns to the Form W2
direct deposit can be done to the employee's designated bank account
maps information entered to the correct General Ledger and Accounts Payables accounts
Easy to track status and research mishaps

If you are looking to automate your process, I suggest that you reach out to several business consultants and see what will work for your organization. The system that you choose should be something that can be tied into your existing system. The process may not totally eliminate support documentation, but it can be be stored in an automated environment. Once you have this in place, you can then write processes that are aligned to the new ERP process for mileage reimbursement.

Topic Expert
Sunil Thukral
Title: Controller/Technical Accounting Advisory..
Company: Consultant
(Controller/Technical Accounting Advisory/ SEC Reporting, Consultant) |

Hi Maggie,

I had implemented SaaS based expense reimbursement system and they were very happy with the ease of reporting with the mileage expenses and claiming the monies back from the company.

Here are a few thoughts on your question, which I am dividing in to categories that I have listed below:

a) Generally on managing reimbursable employee expenses:
- Automate and not handle reimbursable expenses manually, especially in a company of the size that you mentioned.
- Automatic routing and notifications to employees, managers and any other reviewers
- Set and enforce policies such as deadlines for submission, appropriate backup receipts, etc.
- They should have policies that can be set for different groups of employees as appropriate (departments, locations, seniority, etc.)
- They should be able to speed processing and their close process by getting data into their GL faster and more accurately than manually re-keying all the data
- It should be easy for employees including mobile apps (including those that work off-line), easy receipt capture, automatic foreign currency translation, clear and immediate feedback on policy, etc.
- And solutions should be easy to set-up and use, come with direct support from people who understand finance requirements/needs, and be affordable.

b) Specifically on mileage reimbursement:
- Set a rate for employees to be reimbursed per mile driven and they should just have to input the miles and not calculate the reimbursement. Also need to ensure that this rate ties with the reimbursable business expense under tax.
- Set different reimbursement rates for employees as needed - for example, by country of the employee (one rate for US employees, another for Canadian)
- Automatically handle miles and kilometres for employees based on their home country (i.e. in Canada the team will like to report in kilometres rather than miles)
- Employees can allocate mileage charges to certain clients or internal project codes as needed
- Set monthly budgets for employees - if they go over, highlight the overage to them so they can provide a justification. Highlight overage to any reviewers to decide whether to reimburse or not due to the violation.
- Monthly budgets should be set appropriately for different employees - for example, salespeople with large territories get 1,500 miles/month where others get $750 miles/month.
- Automatic controls of no duplicate charges being made.
- Encouraging a behaviour in which exact mileage is reimbursed and not approximate amount. To encourage this can use Google maps or any other similar service to get the exact distance.

Please let me know if you need any additional guidance on this topic.

Sunil Thukral

Lyle Newkirk
Title: CFO
Company: Corrigo Incorporated
(CFO, Corrigo Incorporated) |

Concur works well and was well received the two times I deployed it. It was received positively by both the employees who used it and the AP group that had to administer it.

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