Global Expense Policies: What to Include & Best Practices

If you’re a CFO of a growing global company and don’t have a clear expense policy and unified expense management platform for your team, you may be dealing with these situations: 

  • You have little visibility and controls on what your employees are using company funds for.
  • Employees have no guidance on best practices for traveling or meeting potential customers, leading to confusion and ad-hoc approval burdens for budget owners and finance teams.
  • Chasing down employees for receipts, memos, and notes puts pressure on your finance team’s already tight schedule.
  • Too many country-specific systems and manual reimbursement processes in each country mean you lack real-time oversight of your budget and employee spending.
  • Financial management is not part of the culture, leading to a lack of alignment between company and employee goals. 
  • You’re considering hiring additional team members to help with the month-end close to keep up with deadlines. 

Trying to grow a global business while keeping company spend in check shouldn’t have to be complicated. That’s why we created Jeeves. 

In this article, we’ll share: 

  • What is a global expense policy.
  • How to create a global expense policy.
  • How to automate your global expense policy.

What is a global expense policy?

A global expense policy is a set of rules defined by the finance or leadership team that outlines how employees can spend company money. This policy makes sure the whole team has clear expectations on what they can and can’t spend on. 

While expense policies can vary from company to company, they usually include two key elements: 

  1. A defined list of expense categories and approximate budgets
  2. A clear guide for employees on how to claim expenses 

How to create a global expense policy

1. Define eligible expenses, budgets, and categories

One of the first steps in creating a global expense policy is outlining which expenses your company will cover and grouping them into categories. 

Here is an example of how a global company might group their expense categories:

For each of these categories, we recommend outlining which expenses are covered and expectations for each. Take the example below for a “Travel” expense policy. The example shows details of the expense policy for “Flights.” It sets a list of clear expectations and expected budget (approximately $500 in economy class), approval processes (flights over $1,000 must receive written approval from VP-level or above, must cc the CEO and CFO], and pre-approved expenses like in-flight WiFi.

2. Set eligibility criteria and procedures

Another important step in creating your global expense policy is clearly outlining who is eligible to claim expenses. Does your expense policy apply to all employees? Does it vary by department, employment status, or job level? Be upfront and let your employees know who these covered expenses are applied to. 

Once you have eligibility criteria lined up, you’re ready to set up an efficient expense policy procedure. 

As you can see, Jeeves cuts down a typical 5-step process into 2 simple steps: spend and upload. Because employees can spend on their own Jeeves corporate card, you don’t have to chase them down for expense reports and receipts. Expense reports are now a thing of the past. (Plus, you get 1% cashback on all Jeeves card spend.)

3. Distribute and educate

Once you’ve clearly outlined your expense policy and procedures, now it’s time to distribute and educate your team about the new company expense policy. We find it best to publish this on a company wiki, work with the HR team to include it in new employee onboarding materials, and dedicate some time in a company-wide meeting to go over the policy together and address any questions people may have. 

4. Monitor and refine

Last but certainly not least, you’ll need to monitor employee spend to make sure they’re staying within policy and following the correct procedures. While you could do this manually, Jeeves offers a few helpful features that help automate this process.

How to automate your global expense policy with Jeeves


Corporate Card Spend Controls 

When you sign up for Jeeves, you can issue free prepaid corporate cards to every member of your team - for free. Physical cards are shipped free worldwide, and you can create unlimited virtual cards in just a few clicks. Not only can Jeeves cards be used to make purchases in 210+ countries, but you also get 1% cashback on all card spend and free built-in spend controls. 

Here are the card spend controls available on Jeeves: 

  • Set a monthly or lifetime card spending limit
  • Deactivate cards instantly within the platform 
  • Upload receipts within the platform 
  • Upload transaction memos 
  • Flag transactions for fraud 

Policies & Approvals

Submission Requirements

Jeeves also offers the ability to set Card Policies. This means you can require employees to upload a receipt and/or a note for any card transactions over a certain amount.

Receipt Capture & Mobile App

Jeeves makes it easy for employees to capture receipts while they’re on the go. If they’re not at their desks, they can access the Jeeves mobile app, take a picture of their receipt, and upload it to a transaction in seconds. The Jeeves mobile app is available to download for free on iOS and Android.

Automated Reminders

Once you have your card policies set up, employees will be automatically reminded via email if they are missing a receipt or note in any of their recent transactions. 

Looking for an employee-centric approach to spend management? Try Jeeves