Employee Expense Reimbursements: 5 major employee frustrations

5 reason employees hate expense reimbursements

Last Updated on February 27, 2023 by user

Employee Expense Reimbursements: 5 major employee frustrations

Employee expense reimbursement is a necessary evil. All businesses will face employees’ reimbursement requests at some stage. But the reimbursement process can be lengthy. You need to deal with the employee and your finance and management teams at different points. The process can take a while and lead to errors. 

The expenses reimbursement of expenses to employees has the potential to lead to a bad employee experience. If employees feel the process wasn’t efficient or fair, their overall job satisfaction could suffer. As a business owner, you also don’t want to end up in a situation where you might face legal trouble, not just disgruntled employees. You want to ensure you nail the process right from the get-go. But how?

What is expense reimbursement?

You must understand the purpose of claim reimbursement to efficiently manage the employee experience. In its essence, the process allows employers to pay back employees when they spend their own money on business-related expenses. Your employee might spend their money to purchase a laptop to use for remote work, for example. You need to pay the money back later, as they could use the laptop only for business use. 

As per UAE VAT law, certain employee reimbursement expenses may be recovered. Businesses need to, therefore, maintain a record of what they spend to claim after the payments are made. You can learn more about the taxation of these expenses from this link

The different types of employee expense reimbursements

Employee expense reimbursement covers a wide range of expenses. The most common examples include things like:

  • Travel expenses
  • Purchase of tools or supplies
  • Certain work clothing expenses
  • Food and drink expenses 

Reimbursement can be especially topical now with the increase in remote work. According to a Cisco Global Hybrid Work Study, almost 90% of full-time employees in the UAE want to work remotely. An increasing number of companies have started offering flexible work arrangements and the strong appetite for them highlights the future need to do so. But as remote work cases increase, the reimbursement process can draw out even further. You’ll do well to understand the frustrations employees might face. 

5 pitfalls of reimbursing employee expenses

Reimbursement of expenses to employees can lead to complaints. The most common issues employees have include:

1. Payment delays

Delays in reimbursements are probably the number one issue employees experience around the expense process. All too often employees end up out of pocket for too long as a result of inefficient expense management. This creates a negative employee experience and can cause feelings of frustration, which directly impacts productivity. 

2. Complicated processes

Establishing complicated, manual processes can dissuade employees from logging expenses, which in turn makes budgeting and forecasting difficult and slows down expense payments.

3. Misplaced receipts

One of the main employee complaints when it comes to expense reimbursements is a lack of process to prevent misplaced receipts. For example, if an employee travels for work, it is unrealistic to expect that they will hang on to every receipt for the duration of the trip.

4. Unclear approvals

With manual processes, it can be difficult to manage approval flows and ensure that the right approvers are looped-in in a timely, structured manner. Again, when approvals are unclear, it extends the payment period for employees. 

5. Inefficient communication 

Collaborating on expenses can be a nightmare. Questions and comments pertaining to expense items are often done across platforms; in person, email, instant message or text. This creates bottlenecks and delays that the employees suffer from while waiting for their payments. 

Best way to handle the reimbursement process

You know the common problems but what about the solutions? The best way to handle employee expense reimbursements is to automate the process. The right expense management software can help:

  • Implement company-wide rules and processes for making a claim
  • Reduce errors when entering and calculating expenses
  • Save time by centralizing and automating the different steps
  • Analyse expense reimbursement and help save money

Your employees benefit from the streamlined process. The information is digital and transparent. Your HR and finance department won’t need to waste time, and employees can trust the process works the same for everyone. In short, you can respond to all the five common problems employees have with the reimbursement process. You reduce employee frustration. The happier your employees are, the more they want to continue working with you. Employee retention is an important issue, especially as the region could face a great resignation wave in the coming years. 

Automating your employee expense reimbursement is easy to do. You simply need the right software to cover the way employees can make a claim and how your business can make the payments. 

How Bayzat can help

Bayzat is on a mission to optimise employee experiences for every employee in the UAE. This includes simplifying the expense reimbursement process for your team. Our recently launched Expense Management on Bayzat Benefits offers a seamless and efficient expense reimbursement process for both you and your employees.

Our OCR technology enables swift upload and auto-population of receipt details, removing the likelihood of mistakes and speeding up the process for employees. Users can also work in draft mode, snapping a picture of their receipt on the go and saving them within the app for later. 

Side-by-side previews enable approvers to see the full picture in one convenient view. Approvers can also see expense requests in multiple currencies, auto-populated or manually set, depending on preference. 

Collaboration is made easy with a comment function in the tool, again keeping the process moving and speeding up payments. Finally, custom approval flows can be set so you’re in control and can define a specific chain of approvals that work for your company. 

You can learn more about Expense Management on Bayzat here or contact us today to get started at no cost.