Most businesses are familiar with their routine for generating and sending invoices as well as collecting payment from customers and vendors. However, there is also another side to invoicing and that is accounting for reimbursed expenses.
Why is this an important factor to consider? Say, for example, your business hired a remote contractor to work on a client project at several of their store locations in different states. When the remote contractor travels to work on site at those locations, he/she either drives or flies, requires a hotel and has to pay for meals. As a business, it is important to consider what expenses the client should be paying for and the cost. Should the remote contractor fly first class or purchase an economy bus ticket? Another important consideration is if the remote contractor should be invoicing for these expenses separately or adding them to their regular monthly invoice. Either way, your remote contractor needs to handle their expenses as an important part of the invoicing process and properly document receipts. Otherwise, he/she will be losing out on purchases that were considered reimbursable.
Generally speaking, most reimbursable expenses are related to printing/office supply costs, travel or materials. Here are three best practices for you and your business’s remote contractors to help make invoicing for reimbursable expenses a simple and easy routine:
1) Agree on What Can Be Invoiced
Avoid miscommunications and awkward conversations after the fact and establish policies and rules regarding what type of expenses your business will cover. Make sure that remote employees are aware of any preferred vendors, airlines or hotels that you may have pre-established discounted rates with and ensure that they use these partner agreements.
2) Require Detailed Expense Reports
Even after there has been a policy established as to what is considered reimbursable expenses, remote contractors need to be made aware that they need to properly document and provide supporting evidence of their purchases. An expense report should always accompany the invoice for review and validation.
3) Use Employee Prepaid Debit Cards
Accounting for reimbursable expenses can be made simple for your business. With Emburse, you can easily assign a prepaid debit card to a remote contractor that can be used for travel, meal and supply expenses. Purchases are pre-approved and the funds are loaded onto the card and available for immediate use. Business managers can monitor purchases in real-time and have access to purchase documentation and receipts.To find out more about how Emburse can help your business better manage expenses, contact us today.