While expense claims are an important financial process of any organisation with employees, it doesn’t exactly have a good reputation. Employees do submit claims, but do not go through the process wholeheartedly. This is because in many organisations, this is still not efficient and oftentimes, things go wrong. The threshold for improving this often turns out to be high, while it is actually simple and quick to improve.
In surprisingly many cases, people still work with paper claim forms. This cannot be filled in anywhere (if people don’t want to take claim forms everywhere), which often results in people forgetting what exactly they made the costs for – or how high the costs were. In addition, the receipts are quickly illegible or they get lost. This takes time and effort, not only for the person who submits the claim, but also for the person who processes it. All in all, the expense claim process for many organisations is still outdated, labour-intensive and inefficient.
What expenses can an employee claim?
So it’s important to easily claim expenses, but what exactly are these expenses? What an employee can claim, simply depends on the employer. Naturally, the employer will probably take the national laws and regulations into account.
In the Netherlands, this is the Work-Related Expense Scheme (WKR). It states that employers have a “free space” to give compensations of up to 1.2% of the wage bill without taxes, that aren’t directly related to work, such as fitness subscriptions. Not all costs of the employee are at the expense of this free space. For example, there are targeted exemptions for work-related costs, such as travel costs and business lunches, and nil valuations for necessary costs, such as computers and work clothes.
For all laws and regulations, view the website of the Dutch National Government or your local laws and regulations.
It is important to keep in mind that what is allowed by the government, may not be allowed by your employer. For example, the Dutch Tax Authorities may be fine with you submitting a claim with your employer for an expensive champagne brunch with business relations, but your employer may be less happy with that.
How do you ensure that employees can easily claim expenses? There are a few simple steps you can take.
Digitise the expense claims process
First of all, the most important step: stop the paperwork and go digital. There are tons of good tools on the market to optimise your billing process. So you can immediately scan or photograph your receipt, enter the expense form via your computer or mobile, and you’re done; when the invoice has been processed in the system, you will automatically receive a confirmation. This does not only simplify the submission process, but also the processing, as many of these tools can be linked to your financial system.
Unite expense claims with all other processes
By digitising the claims process, you are already taking a good step towards a smooth expense claim process. You can simplify it even further by making the step-by-step process shorter, by uniting your claims system with all your other processes. You do this by adding it to your intranet. Or even better, to your adaptive workspace.
So you have everything you need in one place, accessible with one click on any device, so no one ever has to search for programs, URLs or passwords again and enter your claims anytime, anywhere. For example, you can make a Single Sign-On link to your expense claims system, or you can bring the entire claims process to your workspace, as we have done within our workspace.
Claims app in your workspace
What if you no longer have to go to an external system to submit expense claims, but you can simply do that from your workspace? You can achieve this by integrating your complete expense claims process into your workspace. Since update 3.15, you can add web content as a full tab to your workspace. This means that if your expense claims system allows it, you can fully integrate it as a tab in your workspace.
Another option is to create your own Micro App using Microsoft Power Apps. With Microsoft’s Power Apps, you can easily create applications for automating business processes – including the expense claims process. Do you want to know more about integrating Power Apps in your adaptive workspace? Then view this article.
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