Expense Reimbursement Made Easy: A Guide for Employers and Employees

In the Philippines, employee reimbursements are subject to certain rules and regulations set forth by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). Failure to comply with these regulations can result in penalties and fines, which can have a negative impact on your company’s bottom line. As such, it is important to have a streamlined and efficient system in place for handling employee expense reimbursements.
Manual expense reporting and reimbursement processes can be time-consuming and error-prone, leading to delayed reimbursements and unhappy employees. This can have a negative impact on employee morale and productivity. Additionally, manually processing expense reports can make it difficult to track expenses and identify areas where cost-cutting measures can be implemented. In this guide, we will discuss how to make expense reimbursement easy for both employers and employees.

Defining Expense Reimbursement

Expense reimbursement is the act of reimbursing an employee for the expenses they incurred while performing their duties. These expenses can include travel expenses, meals, lodging, and other necessary expenses required to carry out their work.

Types of Reimbursable Employee Expenses

There are different types of expenses that employees can incur while carrying out their duties. Some of the most common ones include:

Travel expenses:

These include expenses incurred during business trips, such as airfare, car rentals, and hotel stays.

Meals and entertainment expenses:

These include expenses incurred while dining with clients or prospects or entertaining them.

Office expenses:

These include expenses incurred for office supplies, postage, and other office-related expenses.

Other expenses:

These include expenses that are directly related to an employee’s job, such as parking fees or tolls.
In the Philippine context, reimbursable employee expenses can vary depending on the nature of the business and industry. For instance, in the retail industry, employees may be reimbursed for transportation expenses, such as gasoline or fare, when traveling to different store locations. Meanwhile, in the manufacturing industry, employees may be reimbursed for safety gear and equipment necessary for their job.
Moreover, there are specific guidelines set by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) regarding the taxability and deductibility of employee expenses. For example, under the Tax Code, entertainment expenses are only 50% deductible while meals are 100% deductible as long as they are directly related to the business or profession.
It is crucial for employers to be aware of these regulations to avoid any tax implications and ensure that their employees are properly reimbursed for their expenses.

Challenges to Manual Expense Reimbursement

The manual expense reimbursement process can be time-consuming and inefficient. Some of the challenges associated with manual expense reimbursement include:

Delayed reimbursement:

Manual processes often lead to delayed reimbursement, which can lead to employee dissatisfaction and a decrease in productivity.

Inaccurate expense reporting:

Manual processes can lead to inaccurate expense reporting, making it difficult for employers to keep track of their expenses accurately.

Receipt management:

Employees can lose receipts or forget to submit them, leading to unreported expenses, which can cause discrepancies in financial records.

Best Practices for Making Expense Reimbursement Easy for Employees

To avoid the challenges associated with manual expense reimbursement, consider implementing the following best practices:

1. Implement an online expense management system:

An online expense management system can help automate the reimbursement process, making it easier for employees to submit their expenses and get reimbursed faster.

2. Set clear expense reimbursement policies:

Establishing clear expense reimbursement policies can help avoid confusion and ensure that employees are reimbursed for the right expenses.

3. Provide mobile expense management tools:

Providing employees with mobile expense management tools can help them easily track and submit their expenses, even while on the go.

4. Simplify receipt management:

Consider implementing a system that simplifies receipt management, such as scanning receipts or allowing for digital receipts, making it easier for employees to manage their receipts.

Make Reimbursement Easy with OliviaXpense

OliviaXpense is the ultimate solution for companies looking to simplify their expense reimbursement process. Our powerful features allow employees to easily scan receipts with their phones and automatically fill in expense reports. With our built-in recognition technology, Philippine receipts and language are no longer a problem. And forget about manual encoding into Excel – our software eliminates this tedious task. Our platform even auto-categorizes expenses, saving you time and hassle. And with our “Intelligent Search” feature, finding documents is a breeze. 
Plus, by integrating OliviaXpense with your existing systems, you’ll have a consolidated platform that speeds up processes and ensures BIR-compliant SLP reports are generated with ease. Customize your approval workflows and enjoy peace of mind with our built-in duplicate detection to minimize the possibility of fraudulent claims. Say goodbye to email overload, saving receipts into folders, and renaming files. Try OliviaXpense today and experience the ultimate solution for expense reimbursement.


1. How often should expense reports be submitted?

The frequency at which expense reports should be submitted depends on your company’s policies. Some companies require employees to submit their expense reports weekly, while others may require them to do so monthly.

2. Should the expense be booked in the month it was incurred or the month the report is submitted and reimbursed?

Expenses should be booked in the month they were incurred, regardless of when the report is submitted and reimbursed. This will ensure accurate financial reporting and prevent any discrepancies in your financial records.

Summary and Key Takeaways

Expense reimbursement is essential to maintaining a healthy and happy workforce. By implementing an online expense management system, setting clear expense reimbursement policies, providing mobile expense management tools, and simplifying receipt management, you can make the process easy for both employers and employees. By following these best practices, you can avoid the challenges associated with manual expense reimbursement and ensure accurate financial reporting.

Transform receipts and invoices into reports and digital assets, in seconds