How to Write a Corporate Travel Policy
A well-conceived corporate travel policy protects your employees when they travel, reduces your small business travel expense and limits your legal liabilities. Develop a travel policy that starts with the booking of any trip and ends with the paperwork your staff files after they return.
Start With a Travel Request
Begin your travel policy guide with a description of the procedure employees must follow to gain trip approval. Each trip must be approved: Just because an employee attended a conference or trade show in the past doesn’t mean he is approved to go each year. Include a written outline or form containing the required information needed for trip approval. Ask the employee to supply the name of the event if one is associated with the trip, purpose of the trip, the department to which the trip will be charged, an estimated total cost and the dates. Specify which superior, by title, can approve travel for employees.
Don’t allow employees to book their own flights or hotel rooms without approval from your human resources or accounting department. Employees may book flights or hotels that provide them with the most frequent flier miles or room points, rather than choosing the most economical for the company. If you allow employees to keep frequent flyer and room points, have your accounting or HR department book or approve all bookings to obtain the best rates for your company. If your company keeps frequent flier and room points to defray the cost of employee travel, include this fact in your travel policy guide. Many of these concerns can be avoided if an HR employee researches each trip based on the approved travel request form, books flights and rooms and charges the major expenses to a corporate credit card.
In the company travel guide, let your employees know if they can suggest alternate or preferred itineraries based on preferred travel times or other factors with the condition that the company pays for the lowest available rate, while the employee pays the difference.
急速PC28彩票Set daily per diems for employees to cover meals, tips, taxis and shuttles, phone calls, parking and other incidentals. Note in the travel guide which expenses require a receipt for reimbursement. For example, you may specify that all expenses over $25 require a receipt, or you may exclude meal receipts as long as the total daily expense does not exceed the per diem rate. Specify if employees need to submit receipts instead of credit card statements for reimbursements. A credit card statement shows only the total amount of a hotel bill, for example, while the room bill shows incidentals, such as mini-bar and movie rentals, which the company would not normally cover.
Include Safety Procedures
Require employees to include the phone number of the hotel at which they will stay, as well as a cell phone number so they can be reached in the event of an emergency. Mandate that they leave their itineraries, including flight, train or auto travel times, check-in and check-out times and meeting times. Ask that they notify their supervisors of their arrival times by work e-mail, even after hours. If employees are traveling overseas, ask them to provide you with proof of a valid passport, additional government ID and the address and phone of the U.S. embassy in that country.
Include Expense Reimbursement Procedures
急速PC28彩票Show the employees the reimbursement form they will file when they return. Provide a sample copy with notes on any section you wish to emphasize. Clearly state the procedure for submitting an expense reimbursement request. This could include the form, receipts needed for certain specified items, the name of the individual or department to which the request must be submitted and the deadline for submitting requests.
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