In 2022, a lot of factors are working against you when it comes to managing employee travel costs. First, we have to address the elephant in the room, the IRS standard mileage rate. For 2022, the rate rose to 58.5 cents per business mile, up 2.5 cents over last year. That means an employee in 2022 will receive $250 more dollars for every 10,000 miles they drive this year compared to last year.
If you have a lot of mobile employees and are used to reimbursing employees, you’re already getting ready for a more expensive year. However, even for companies who aren’t as accustomed to handling mileage reimbursement, 2022 will be more expensive. According to a report from Morning Consult, many business travelers are concerned about flying or taking public transportation during the ongoing pandemic, leading 62% of them to say they plan to travel in their personal vehicles this year.
Finally, gas prices are expected to remain high in 2022. GasBuddy predicts fuel prices could rise to $4 a gallon in the first half of 2022, and the yearly national average gas price will rise to $3.41 per gallon from 2021’s $3.02. So, if you happen to not use a mileage reimbursement method — for instance, you issue a car allowance or calculate exact costs — then you should still expect employee travel expenses to increase this year.
This year, it’s only natural to look for ways to double down on your employee travel expenses in order to save money wherever possible. As you take a closer look at your own processes, consider implementing our top 3 ways to save on mileage expenses in 2022.
1. Point-to-Point Trip Calculation
There is no single way to track business mileage. You may simply have employees write down odometer readings in a mileage log at the start and end of trips, but it’s often becoming the case that companies opt to use GPS-based tracking systems to track mileage. These apps may be easy for employees to use, but they wind up tracking all miles, business and personal. In other words, just because you’re doing a better job of tracking work miles for reimbursement doesn’t mean you’re really saving any money.
Point-to-point trip calculation, on the other hand, ensures you’re truly only reimbursing business miles. This method works just like it sounds: mileage is calculated based on the starting and ending points of each trip based on the most direct route. By using this optimal route to calculate mileage reimbursement, you ensure non-work related mileage does not end up being mistaken for business mileage.
2. Manage Home Commutes
95% of our clients are “home visit organizations” with a workforce of mostly mobile employees. It’s very common for these mobile salespeople or home healthcare workers to leave straight from their homes to go visit clients or patients each day. In many cases, employees will claim a reimbursement for this travel, but the mileage traveled from home to the first appointment (or from the last appointment to home) is considered a commute by the IRS and is not technically eligible for reimbursement in most cases.
Erroneously reimbursing home commutes may only cost you a few dollars each time, but if you have hundreds of employees all doing the same thing, the costs grow exponentially. By better managing these instances of commuter mileage reimbursement, not only are you saving yourself money, you’re also saving yourself a headache should you be audited. The IRS will not consider reimbursements paid for home commutes to be tax deductible.
3. Flag Behaviors
Certain behaviors are known to lead to wasteful, out-of-policy or fraudulent spending. These could include submitting duplicate reimbursement requests, exceeding daily per diems or reporting inconsistent trip mileage. To stop fraud and other unauthorized behaviors before they cost you money, you need to develop a system that will notify you in real-time when one of these behaviors occurs. If you’re able to address these behaviors as they happen — whether than waiting until the end of the month to parse through expense reports — you’ll not only save money, you’ll set a higher standard of conduct for your employees to follow.
Save Up To 30% With CompanyMileage
Our unofficial fourth tip for saving money in 2022 is the simplest of all: start using SureMileage. Our mileage reimbursement platform streamlines mileage expense management for businesses. Point-to-point calculations ensure you’re not reimbursing disallowed mileage, automated workflows ensure review and approval of expense reports runs smoothly, the ability to flag behaviors in the system helps you correct mistakes quickly, and integrations with your accounting and payroll software ensure employees are paid on time.
CompanyMileage truly provides an end-to-end solution for mileage and expense reimbursements that saves you money every step of the way. To learn more about all the other ways we help our customers save on employee travel costs, request a demo with us today.