Manage your organization's expense policies

Learn about TravelBank's default expense policy and how to create custom expense policies

Anna Allen avatar
Written by Anna Allen
Updated over a week ago

This article is part of the Commercial Rewards Card paid plan guide. You can navigate back to the guide with the previous link and take the next onboarding steps.

Purpose

This article describes how to manage the TravelBank default expense policy and how to create custom expense policies for your organization.

Audience

This article is directed toward administrators with a paid TravelBank expense and travel management account. It also applies to Commercial Rewards Card program administrators on a paid plan.

Overview

The TravelBank default expense policy allows you to set guidelines for your employees and take control of spend by adjusting receipt requirements, mileage rates, and other settings.

Manage your organization’s default expense policy

To access your organization’s expense policies, from the TravelBank left navigation menu, select “Company Settings” > “Expenses” > “Expense Policy”

Select “Default Policy”.

Within the default policy, you can make changes to several areas:

  • General Rules: Set receipt requirements, approval steps, and more for all expenses.

  • Category Rules: Define rule sets and guidelines per specific expense categories.

  • Approval Rules: Modify report approval flow based on report custom conditions.

  • Reimbursements: Set whether employees in this policy will be reimbursed, and, if so, when and how.

  • Employees in Policy: All employees are part of the default policy unless they have been added to a different policy. Employees can only be in one expense policy.

When you make changes to a section on the Default Policy page, select “Save” before making changes to the next section.

Note: Employees can only be assigned to one expense policy.

General Rules

The following table describes the fields in the General Rules section.

Table 1. General Rules fields

Field

Description

Receipt Requirement

This field allows you to set the dollar amount at which employees must attach receipts to their expenses. While this is an open field we recommend setting it at $75.00 USD.

Default: The TravelBank recommended $75.00 USD

Mileage Reimbursement Rate

The field is the multiplier that is used to convert employee-submitted mileage to dollars for reimbursement. You can set a custom rate or use the IRS rate. The IRS calculates the IRS rate, and the rate goes into effect on the first of the year and is updated annually.

Default: IRS rate; the rate is set

Description Requirement

When this field is enabled, employees are required to add a description to all of their submitted manual expenses. Mileage expenses will always require a description.

Default: Off

Corporate Card

When this field is enabled, expenses are nonreimbursable. Turn this field on if employees use a corporate card. These expenses will not be reimbursed.

Default: On

  • Require Merging of Expense with Corporate Card Transaction: When this field is enabled, users cannot submit corporate card expenses without merging them to the transaction synced to TravelBank. Note that this will not apply to refund to company, mileage, or travel expenses.
    Default: Off

  • Default Payment Method: Enable this field if employees use a corporate credit card as their primary payment method for expenses. When enabled, the employee's payment method will default to corporate card on Repeat and Refund to Company expenses.
    Default: Off

Split Department Access

When this field is enabled employees can assign expenses to any department, not just departments to which they are assigned in the employee directory. Let employees select any department for split. When off, employees may only select from their assigned departments.

Default: Off

Category Rules fields

This area of the expense policy allows you to define rule sets and guidelines per specific expense categories. All of your expense categories appear in the Category Rules window. If you have added custom expense categories to the default categories, those added categories will also show as available for all policies by default. If you have not set up any custom expense categories, the following default categories are all enabled.

  • Airfare

  • Conference

  • Employee Morale

  • Entertainment

  • Ground Transportation

  • Lodging

  • Marketing

  • Meals

  • Mileage

  • Other

  • Parking

  • Phone

  • Rail

  • Supplies

Select “Edit” at the right of the Category Rules section and then “Set Rules” for each expense category” to make changes to the category rules. For each expense category in the Category Rules section, you can adjust the following rules (Figure 1):

  • Per Expense Limit: This rule allows you to set spending limits for individual expenses within the category. You can turn this rule on or off, and if it is turned on, you can set the spending limit.

  • Recurring Spend Limit: This rule allows you to set spending limits for recurring expenses within the category. You can turn this rule on or off, and if it is turned on, you can set the spending limit and the time frame for the limit (that is, daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly; for example, $500.00/monthly).

  • Require Expense Splitting: This rule allows you to require employees to split an expense by categories to account for all line items. When this rule is turned off, splitting is optional.

Once you make your needed changes, select “Save Policy”.

Figure 1. Set Rules page for the Airfare Category Rule

Figure 1. Set Rules options for each Category Rule

Approval Rules

In this area of the expense policy you can determine who should approve incoming expense requests for this expense policy (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Default approval flow showing approval starting with any added approvers, then manager, and, lastly, finance

Figure 2. Approval Rules section of Default Policy

Default: One approval flow: First–Any Added Approvers, Then–Manager, Lastly–Finance

Edit an approval flow

Select “Edit” to the right of the approval flow to edit the flow. This brings up an “Edit Approval Flow” window (Figure 3). When you’ve finished making changes to the approval flow, select “Save” and then “Save” again on the Default Policy page.

Figure 3. “Edit Approval Flow” pop-up window showing a dropdown field where you can change your approval flow selections

Figure 3. “Edit Approval Flow” pop-up window

Add an approval flow

You can also add an approval rule by selecting “Add”. This brings up an “Add Approval Rule” pop-up window (Figure 4). If you select “Amount”, you can add an amount. If you select “Category”, you can select a category from a dropdown list of your organization’s expense categories.

Figure 4. “Edit Approval Flow” pop-up window showing an Approver field and a Condition field

Figure 4. “Add Approval Rule” pop-up window

Reimbursements

This area of the expense policy allows you to turn on reimbursements to reimburse expenses in this policy through TravelBank.

If reimbursements are turned on, you can add a company bank account and a reimbursement schedule. Reimbursements can be run daily, monthly (1st), and semi monthly (1st and 15th).

Default: Off

Employees in Policy

This area of the expense policy allows you to manage which employees the policy applies to. Employees can only be assigned to one expense policy, and, by default, all employees are part of the default policy unless they have been added to a different policy. If you add an employee to another expense policy, the employee is automatically removed from the former policy.

You can also change an employee's Expense Policy from the Employee Directory.

Default: All employees

Create and manage custom policies

Similar to Travel Policies you can set up custom policies for special teams or groups and select which employees the policy will apply to.

Create a custom expense policy

You may find it helpful to review the default expense policy section of this article before you create a custom policy. That section describes the various areas that you can manage for the policy. Custom expense policies have the same areas as the default policy, but you can modify the areas to have a custom policy that’s different from the default policy.

Keep in mind that employees can only be assigned to one expense policy. If you add an employee to a policy, the employee is automatically removed from any other policy the employee was previously assigned to. If you remove an employee from a policy, the employee is reassigned to the default policy. Also be aware that you cannot reassign an employee if the employee has active reports.

To create a custom expense policy, take the following steps.

  1. From the TravelBank left navigation menu, select “Company Settings” > “Expenses” > “Expense Policy” > “Add Expense Policy”.

  2. Add a policy name in the “Add Policy Name” at the top of the page.

  3. Adjust the various policy areas as needed, selecting “Save” after making changes in each area.

  4. Once you’ve finished making the needed changes to the custom expense policy, select “Finish”.

Reimbursements by policy

When you create a custom expense policy, you can set the policy reimbursement rules so you can reimburse on a policy-by-policy basis. However, keep in mind that you can assign each employee to only one policy.

Review the following Table 2 for examples of custom policies and reimbursement rules for each policy.

Table 2. Reimbursements by policy examples

Policy name

Employees policy applies to

Reimbursement policy rules

Policy A

Employees in Seattle

  • Reimbursements turned on

  • Reimbursed by account 123

  • Reimbursed monthly

Policy B

Employees in Portland

  • Reimbursements turned on

  • Reimbursed by account 456

  • Reimbursed monthly

Policy C

Employees in other areas and who need to be paid semimonthly

  • Reimbursements turned on

  • Reimbursed by account 456

  • Reimbursed semimonthly

Policy C

Employees that use a company card for expenses and have no need to be reimbursed

  • Reimbursements turned off

  • Reimbursed by account: NA

  • Reimbursement schedule: NA

Delete a policy

To delete an expense policy, take the following steps:

  1. From the TravelBank left navigation menu, select “Company Settings” > “Expenses” > “Expense Policy”.

  2. Select the policy you want to delete.

  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and select “Delete Policy”. This brings up a confirmation window.

  4. Select “Delete Policy” to confirm your selection.


Need help?

If you need help, contact the TravelBank support team:

  • From the website or mobile app: Open the left navigation menu and select “Chat with us”.

Publish date: May 26, 2021

Last update: May 7, 2024

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