Read how one company considers expense habits in employee performance reviews.
At a leading business services company, it could potentially be a career-limiting move for an employee not to file work-related expenses on time. When a situation arises during promotion ratings where two employees are rated exactly the same in every other category, a record of on-time expense report submissions is often used as a tie-breaker. This fact is well known among employees of the firm, which was highlighted in a recent Accenture report on Expense Management Strategies for an Economic Downturn, prepared in collaboration with American Express.
“The key message this type of approach sends to corporate card users and travellers is accountability,” says Kerri-Ann Santaguida, senior vice-president, account development for Commercial Card, American Express Canada. “When employees are informed of the implications of not adhering to policies, they are more likely to make more cost-effective decisions. A company can use this type of approach to say to employees: ‘protecting our bottom line is important to us, and we hope it is important to you as well’.”
On the flip side: incentives
The same company also provides incentives to adhere to corporate card policy. Since employees are responsible for paying their bills, the company offers reimbursement of the annual rewards program fee to those who pay on-time and in-full. These tactics linking expense habits with specific consequences are just a few examples of creative ways companies can use corporate cards as a mechanism to drive compliance of expense and corporate travel policies and hold employees accountable, suggests Santaguida. “Enforcing the policy can take on many different forms including tying the compliance to procurement goals, to HR goals, to employee goals, and so on. What enforcement looks like for a company is really inherent in the culture of that company. The key with this kind of approach is communication and consistency.”
By Julie Charles
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