One of the most challenging aspects of HRM operations is keeping proper track of employee time and travel expenses. This is especially true for medium-sized and enterprise-level businesses that require their teams to go for different business travels. 

Getting this process right has never been more important than now. With the current COVID-19 pandemic causing downfalls in the markets, it has become crucial for businesses of all types to make sure that the finance and accounting part is done right. 

Below listed are several solutions that businesses can leverage to ensure proper record keeping of employees’ time and travel expenses. 

Why do you need employee time and travel expense tracking solutions? 

Precisely tracking your employees’ time and travel expense is integral to accounting success which, in turn, reflects on your company’s performance. With proper, structured solutions to keeping a proper track of your employees’ time and travel expenses, your accounting team can better address the business expenses which, in turn, helps improve the company’s finances.

Proper and precise tracking of time and travel expenses is also beneficial for the employees in ways more than one. The company’s management team can make better decisions when it comes to offering appraisals and promotions to the employees by properly analysing performance reports that are accurate and streamlined. It also helps the management team make sure that no reimbursements are left pending which, otherwise, can hurt the earnings of any given employee. 

1. Remote working expense policy

The only way forward for businesses to resume operations in the current COVID-19 pandemic is to transition to remote working. While this transition helps businesses maintain operational flow, it poses a major challenge by making employee time and travel expense tracking more intricate. Unlike in regular days where working hours and business travel expenses of the employees are accurately tracked, remote working comes as a major barrier and removes transparency.

One of the best and cost-effective solutions businesses can use in order to precisely tracking remote working business expenses is to create a work from home expenses policy. One effective approach for this idea is to make the policy simple and crisp by just highlighting the remote working expenses that will be covered by the company. 

Work from home expenses such as installing a broadband internet connection, and buying computer accessories and office supplies are a major inclusion. If your company offers food perks, you can also include it in the work from home expense policy list. 

2. Accurate expense tracking with credit card syncing 

Tracking your employees’ expenses, especially work from home expenses, becomes easy and streamlined if the expense data is directly collected from their credit cards. One of the best ways to do this is to use a payroll management software. 

Some of the best payroll management systems include the option of syncing employees’ credit cards. Based on your company’s general ledger, the expenses that come from the synced credit cards are automatically categorised. This, in turn, makes it easy for your company’s accounting team to get a detailed overview of each and every type of expense that is related to remote working. 

3. Offer quick reimbursements

Every little earning counts and every little spending matters for your employees in these current testing times. To provide support for your employees in the best possible ways, one of the best options is to offer quick reimbursements. Unlike in regular days where employees receive their reimbursements for extra expenses with their salary, offering support for covering their extra expenses as quickly as possible will work great in helping them develop a sense of belonging in the company. 

Apart from offering quick reimbursement support to your employees, taking this approach will also clear the pending reimbursement list. This, in turn, makes it easier for your company’s accounting team to do the month-end calculations. 

4. Create traveller profiles

Even if your entire team is working from home, some of your team members may need to visit client locations for business meetings. This essentially means that they need to make business travel expenses. 

Some of the best payroll management software includes the option of creating traveller profiles of your employees. Doing this helps you keep a proper track of all the business travel expenses such as cab bookings, flight bookings, hotel reservations, and food expenses. 

5. Choose a time-tracking software that functions outside of the company’s IP addresses

There is no doubt that dedicated time-tracking software works great in helping your company’s HR team keep a proper track of the working hours of each and every employee. However, one of the biggest downsides to such software is they often are designed to work just within the company’s IP addresses. Although this wasn’t a problem during the pre-COVID-19 times, it becomes infeasible for remote working protocols. 

If your team is working from home, it is important to transition to a time-tracking software that is designed to operate outside of the company’s IP addresses. With such time-tracking software in place, you and your management team are assured that each and every employee follows the everyday routine of logging in work hours. This, in turn, helps you and your management team to steer clear of discrepancies. 

Taking this step is highly important if your company outsources a significant part of the work to freelancers. It will help you make sure that the freelancers that you’re working with login the correct work hours and that you have a high level of transparency over it. 

6. Create work time brackets in advance

As discussed in the previous point, it is crucial for businesses to have a time-tracking software that operates outside of the company’s IP addresses. Also, it is equally important to follow a structured approach for precisely tracking the employees’ work hours. One such approach that you can take is to create time brackets or work time subcategories for each day. 

For example, if you already know the tasks that have to be done by your PR team, you or your reporting managers can assign the work by creating specific time brackets in the time-tracking software. This not only helps your management team keep a proper track of precise work hours reports but also use the reports to justify the monthly, quarterly, or annual performance of the teams. 

7. Create customisable expense categories

Not all business expenses are the same, this is true even when all of your employees are taking work from home. Sure, it is definitely a great step to have a well-structured work from home expense policy plan. But it’s equally important to have flexibility in the policy to make sure that the business expense adjustments are smooth. 

To ensure this type of flexibility, you can choose an employee payroll management system that allows you to create customisable expense categories. This way, adding extra types of remote working expenses (ones that are not included in the remote working expense policy) to the ledger and combining them with the regular remote working expenses becomes easy and streamlined. 

If you want to integrate a well-structured and streamlined employee time and travel expense tracking solution in your business as part of improving your companies overall operations, you can get in touch with our experts at [email protected] |+91 9632214173

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