Pretty much everything’s mobile these days—your phone, your banking, and for some companies, your workers. Mobility is essential to the work of employees in several fields, such as home health care, sales, property management, and anybody else who regularly travels around their community for the purpose of fulfilling the duties of their job. The work mobile employees do is indispensable to the communities you serve, and the best way you can ensure that the mobile employees working for your business are supported is by properly compensating them for their travel.
For many businesses the challenge is how to keep the process of paying mileage to employees simple and accessible for mobile workers who may not always be able to drop by your office to turn in expense reports. So, if you’re looking for the best mileage reimbursement options for your mobile workers, what should you be considering?
Selecting Your Reimbursement Method
Before establishing how your company will go about paying mileage to employees, decide on what method your business will use to track and reimburse mileage. The IRS recognizes two reimbursement methods: The actual expenses method, and the method using the standard mileage rate.
For actual expenses, employees add up all money spent operating the vehicle they use for work-related travel, then multiply that number by the percentage of their vehicle’s business use. While a technically valid mileage reimbursement method, many prefer the standard mileage rate method. With this option, mobile employees track the miles they travel for business and then multiply this number by the standard mileage rate, which is set annually by the IRS. The standard mileage rate method is generally considered the simpler and more efficient solution, but does require that employees keep accurate and up-to-date records of when, where and why their vehicle was used for travel in their line of work.
Asking Important Questions
After selecting the method your organization will use for paying mileage to employees for their work travel, there are several questions your business needs to answer about how to make mileage reimbursement as simple and efficient as possible for everyone involved. Questions like:
How do you make mileage tracking easy for employees?
There are several ways to track mileage and maintain compliance with IRS mileage log rules. However, some of these methods are better than others! The most common option for tracking mileage is recording odometer readings, subtracting the mileage at the end from the mileage at the start of a trip to calculate the mileage driven. However, this option is also time-consuming, and leaves lots of room for error. Your best option for mileage tracking is one that doesn’t take too much time out of employees’ busy workdays, or make them have to do lots of fussy calculations.
How do you make submitting mileage expense reports easy?
Your mobile employees are on the go, meaning they’re not spending a lot of time at your business’s home office. A good mileage reimbursement process makes it simple for employees to submit their expense reports regardless of their location. For example, using a digital workflow or an app for submitting mileage reports might be easiest for your mobile workforce, while submitting paper expense reports at a set time or location…maybe not so much.
How do you ensure that supervisors and managers are able to easily review and approve mileage reimbursement requests?
Have you ever worked in a business where things fell apart when a single employee went on vacation, or took a sick day? A good workflow for paying mileage to employees shouldn’t rely too heavily on certain members of management. Nor should it make reviewing and approval too complicated or time-consuming. After all, when efficiency suffers in the approval process, it’s your employees who will end up paying. Or not getting paid, as the case may be!
Set Clear Guidelines
Communication is key, no matter the business! However, it can be a struggle to address certain guidelines and expectations (like paying mileage to employees) with your team when they’re not all in the same place at the same time. Because of this, for your mileage reimbursement method to work, you need to be certain that you have a clearly defined process in place that is well communicated. Employees should also understand that even on the go, they are being held accountable, and are expected not to log non-work related travel, commuting travel, or side trips for reimbursement.
When it comes to managing, communicating with, and paying mileage to employees who travel as part of their work, technology is your biggest asset! If your business heavily relies on employees who need to be reimbursed for their work-related travel, using an automated software solution to streamline the process could benefit your organization in several ways. Use mileage reimbursement software to track mileage, submit reimbursement reports, review and approve claims.
Good software options for managing mileage reimbursement let employees log work travel in real time as the trips are happening. This negates the need for complicated mileage calculations, and also reduces the chance for the kinds of mistakes and slip-ups that can happen when employees have to manually enter data. Some programs can notify management when employees exceed per diems, and flag other behaviors, such as submitting duplicate reports, so that errors or problematic behaviors don’t go unnoticed, unreported, and unaddressed.
CompanyMileage Reimagined the Mileage Reimbursement Process
Sometimes, complex problems require simple solutions. CompanyMileage is a comprehensive, efficient, and easy-to-use way to make sure your mobile workforce is quickly and accurately reimbursed for their work trips. Our suite of programs, SureMileage, SureMobile, and SureExpense, is designed to streamline mileage reimbursement at every level of your business.
When on the job, employees simply report their starting point and end destination from their smartphones using our SureMobile app. Then, SureMileage uses these points to calculate the driving distance between them. At the end of the day employees take a few minutes to submit their trips, and their reports are automatically moved through an approval workflow. Our customizable software integrates with major accounting and payroll systems, so once approved employees can be sure that they will receive reimbursement quickly and efficiently.
If you’re ready to uncomplicate the way your organization sees mileage reimbursement, let us help. Contact CompanyMileage to schedule a demo and learn more today!