Expense Account Reconciliation – we are all sharing the same pain

» Posted by on Jun 3, 2014 in Payment Methods | 0 comments

From what I remember, the private sector about 10 years ago was working on a way to have the credit card charges on corporate issued Individual Billed Accounts (IBA) linked to an internal website where the traveler would do their expense account and submit it for payment. The government saw this as a way to start driving more compliance with their charge cards and adapted the same basic system.

It used to be that if you charged an expense on your card, you did not have to submit receipts for those expenses. Life seemed really good then as all those paper receipts were not always required. You of course had to add “Manual Expense Items” basically those items that you would pay in cash for things like a cab ride. It really did not take that much time to reconcile the report and you could submit your report for payment.

Then, as I also remember there were a number of people who started to abuse this privilege of using their IBA cards for personal expenses. You may remember a number of years ago about several government agencies being highlighted in the news about government people using their cards in ways they were not intended. Well on the corporate side, the same things were happening, but they just did not hit the news quite as load.

So since a few people were bad boys and girls, it seems most of us are back to submitting all those paper receipts. Of course the last thing we heard from my company’s finance office was these new rules were put in place by the IRS to verify that expenses we claimed were business expenses were actually business expenses. Shall we say, the easiest way to get a new policy in place is to blame it on the IRS.

So let me ask all of those who are traveling, please be good boys and girls and perhaps one day we can stop carrying all those receipts around. We of course can always say we are just trying to be Green.

By Ted Miller, CHME, CHSP

Starwood Hotels and Resorts




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