See TAPN's T&E Expense Reimbursement Practices Study. You may also find the TAPN T&E policy template helpful, which you can find in the Policy section of AP Tools.
Our benchmark surveys have not addressed T&E policy issues, however, some proven T&E practices include the following:
- documenting T&E policies in a manual, which is issued with a required sign-off sheet to employees
- the policy manual should be simple, direct and detailed (and updated as necessary)
- policies must be enforced evenly across the organization
- elimination of up-front management authorizations
- eliminate cash advances; reimburse post-expenditure
- use company T&E cards (there is ongoing debate about whether they should have personal liability or corporate liability)
- determine the appropriate dollar level for requiring receipts in your organization. The IRS requirement is $75, but many companies have a lower threshold, with $25 being the most common
- have receipts cross-referenced to the expense report and sent directly to the processing group
- disburse reimbursements via direct deposit, or include with normal paycheck
- use an electronic T&E reporting system if possible - these typically allow built-in policy controls, ease of use and timely reporting (with pre-population of credit card data into reports), simplified auditing and they facilitate timely reimbursement.
In implementing T&E policies, general proven practices also apply, such as having upper management support, communicating new policies effectively, implementing a T&E training program (include administrative assistants as well as travelers), make T&E policies readily available via a manual and online, and conduct periodic audits of travel charges and report results to upper and business unit management.