Business Expenses List: What to Include In an Expense Policy

Staying on top of business expenses, while maintaining a positive employee experience, may feel like a daunting task. But, having an employee expense policy in place will actually help you do both. That’s because a clear and accessible policy boosts employee compliance, allowing managers to spend less time verifying expense reports.

That’s not just true at large enterprises. Even companies with fewer than 20 employees benefit significantly from having an expense reimbursement policy.


What is considered a business expense?

Based on knowledge gained from decades of working with companies to manage spend, we’ve compiled some expense categories for you to consider. Whether you’re creating a policy from scratch, or updating your existing policy, here are some types of expenses to include:

  • Travel-related expenses
  • Additional travel-related expenses
    • Baggage fees
    • Parking
    • Foreign currency charges
    • Visa fees
    • Service tips
    • The hire/use of a GPS
  • Lodging expenses
    • Hotels
    • Airbnb and other vacation rentals or alternative staying options
    • Travel allowance
    • Laundry and/or dry cleaning
    • Tips
    • Parking
  • Remote working expenses
    • Office furniture
    • Computer hardware, software, and equipment
    • Stationery
    • Electricity
    • Home insurance
    • Broadband internet connection
    • Virtual meeting lunches
    • For more examples, take a look at our remote-work expense guide
  • Meals and Entertainment expenses
    • Beverages and/or snacks for meetings
    • Business meals for meetings
    • Individual beverages and/or snacks
    • Individual meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    • Entertainment
    • Per diems
  • Other expense types
    • Professional membership fees
    • Conference and tradeshow registration fees
    • Postage for business purposes
    • Insurance
    • Conference/seminar/training admission
    • Shipping fees
  • Exceptions (a list of things your expense policy won't cover)
    • Mini-bar contents
    • Clothes
    • Parking fines
    • Damage to personal vehicles
    • Corporate card late fees
    • Loss/theft of goods


How to keep track of business expenses

This list is just a start. If you're ready to build an expense policy for your business, use our expense policy builder to create your own customizable expense policy template. (We can help with an invoice policy template, too!)

Once you have an effective expense policy in place, there’s even more to do to boost business resilience. Automation is the key to unlocking visibility into where your money is being spent. Check out the AMI-Partners report to learn the value of automating expense, travel, and invoice management. Watch the video below to see SAP Concur solutions in action.


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