In managing expenses, organizations have to look not only for solutions that monitor and reduce costs on an everyday basis, but also to head off unusual and unforeseen scenarios that can punch a big hole in the bottom line. Such is the case with gray fleet drivers, who can significantly reduce or create expenses depending on how they are managed.
Gray fleet drivers are all of those employees who use for company business vehicles not provided directly by the company. This includes vehicles used under mileage reimbursement and auto allowance programs, short-term rentals, even vehicles used by non-employees such as contractors.
Protect yourself with precautions, policies
Professionals who manage fleet drivers are quick to point out that gray fleet drivers can create the same kinds of headaches that fleet drivers do. Most worrisome are negligence issues, they say, which demands that organizations take precautions and set policies. First, they say, companies should verify that gray fleet drivers have adequate insurance coverage. They note that by having the employee name the company as an additional insured, the company will be notified if the policy is changed, cancelled or allowed to lapse.
Next, fleet managers say, companies should check the driving records of their gray fleet drivers and put in place driver agreements like those used to govern the actions and responsibilities of fleet drivers. An essential element of that agreement, of course, is spelling out insurance requirements. Another is detailing the repercussions of any work-time incident or accident, specifically driver training.
Guard against fraud
Typical organizations lose 5 percent of revenues each year to fraud, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners; and employee mileage reimbursement is an especially inviting opportunity for the dishonest driver. After all, employees submit reports of their miles driven to accounting departments whose job is to issue checks, not verify claims.
Businesses can protect themselves from fraud by:
- Creating an effective mileage reimbursement policy detailing what the company will pay for and what it won’t.
- Separating the processes of mileage reimbursement and employee compensation.
- Implementing a review process that examines not only the expense claimed but its accuracy and policy adherence.
- Conducting periodic reviews and audits for compliance.
- Automating the reimbursement process to improve mileage verification.
A new approach to mileage reimbursement
SureMileage by CompanyMileage protects employers and reduces opportunities for fraud with a secure and accurate system to manage mileage reimbursement to gray fleet drivers. Rather than verifying the miles driven, SureMileage calculates expenses to be reimbursed. Employees report their starting point and destination and the system calculates the driving distance between them.
The easy-to-use web-based platform not only saves time when compared to traditional odometer readings, but it virtually eliminates inflated estimates. SureMileage has an integrated address book – corporate and personal – and every location is given a name. To add a new location, employees can add it to the app and it will automatically populate.
Gray fleet drivers don’t have to be headache. With the right precautions and policies in place and the best expense management solutions in place, they can be the asset they are meant to be.