best practices for travel and expense policies

What is a best practice for travel and expense policies?


To help you with best practices for travel and expense policies, we asked CEOs and business leaders this question for their best insights. From giving per-diems in advance to having a manager approve the travels and expenses first, there are several ideas that may help you follow best practices for your travel and expense policies.

Here are five best practices for travel and expense policies:

  • Give Per-diems in Advance
  • Write it for Skim-readers
  • Reimburse for AirBnBs
  • Use The Federal Guidelines for Mileage
  • Have a Manager Approve The Travels and Expenses First


Give Per-diems in Advance

Instead of managing the hassles associated with travel reimbursements, give team members their per-diems in advance. Determine how many days they are traveling and give them whatever the appropriate amount is before they leave. (We use Motivosity to do this with the “Thanks Matters Card”, which is a card dedicated to each individual employee where they can spend their rewards and recognition dollars. It also supports allocations like per-diems.) This way they don’t have to worry about receipts and you don’t have to worry about approvals. It simplifies the whole experience!

Logan Mallory, Motivosity


Write it for Skim-Readers

No matter how important the policy is for your job, most employees will probably not even know it exists. Creating or editing the travel and expense policies, you have to remember to write for skim-readers. People don’t need preambles and lengthy introductions from the CEO. Consider adding a table of contents, including bullet points and other eye-catching text elements, bolding important details, and using clear headings.

Michal Jonca, PhotoAiD


Reimburse for AirBnBs

Allow employees to be reimbursed for AirBnBs. While many businesses maintain that employees will only be reimbursed for hotel expenses, they may not be the cheapest option. AirBnBs are increasingly a viable option for business travel and can station your employees closer to their event for less cost. While it might take a little extra paperwork, it’s certainly worth it, as travel expenses can stack up.

Rob Bartlett, WTFast


Use The Federal Guidelines for Mileage

Early on I had no idea there were federal guidelines for reimbursing mileage for business related travel. Once I became aware of this it saved me so many headaches. I used to have different negotiated mileage policies with different employees and contractors. Some put more emphasis on fuel consumption where some cared more about the cumulative wear and tear on their vehicles. 

After I learned that the federal government and IRS have guidelines for this I immediately put them into action. This made everything uniform and organized, and it was fair and equal for everyone involved. Some employees had an improvement in their mileage reimbursements while some had small disadvantages. However, once I pointed out it was a federal guideline, they saw the logic and accepted the new policy. Anytime you are starting out, I suggest researching guidelines set by local, state, and federal governments. Saves a ton of time in the long run!

Devin Schumacher, SERP


Have a Manager Approve The Travels and Expenses First

Managers should approve every travel and expense before it’s purchased. Entry level employees may use business credit cards as gifting opportunities, dinners, or other attractive reasons. However, it may not align with the company. Senior managers should always sign off and give their consent first to ensure it benefits the business and not just the employee.

Jodi Neuhauser, Ovaterra



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