Use of Flowcharts in Expense Reimbursement Management

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” – Anne M. Mulcahy

Barter systems have existed in human civilization for many thousands of years. These imply an exchange of material goods or services of comparable value between interested parties. Evolution in exchange systems and practices have brought to the fore modern inventions such as fiat currency, paper-based money, financial markets, investment vehicles, interest rates, and sovereign funds – among others. Corporate organizations have thus invented novel mechanisms such as expense reimbursement systems as part of employee compensation programs.

Subsequently, the domain of expense reimbursement management has emerged as a focus of attention for organizations that wish to regularize such exchange/activity between employers and associates/employees. This domain remains a significant field of ongoing endeavor, since expense reimbursement remains a recurring (and evolving) activity undertaken as part of administering corporate compensation structures and programs.

Observers and strategists typically view expense reimbursement management as a process – “the expense reimbursement process allows employers to pay back employees who have spent their own money for business-related expenses. When employees receive an expense reimbursement, typically they won’t be required to report such payments as wages or income.” In line with this, contemporary employers could deploy analytical devices – such as flowcharts – to develop the outlines and contours of an expense reimbursement management program. Such outlines could contain the core objectives that power the rationale operating at the heart of such programs, list business activities that qualify for reimbursement, notify the extent of cash-based reimbursement, the various grades of employment that can apply for reimbursement, among others. In essence, the flowchart emerges as a functional document that guides activities centered on expense reimbursement management.

Deep insights into expense reimbursement management may emerge when corporate planners scan the entire range of activities undertaken by employees and associates. A flowchart can assist in the process by enabling a close examination of processes and sub-processes that animate various divisions; this technique – when merged with expense control paradigms – empower planners to bring a semblance of balance into expense reimbursement management. Historical information in terms of managing expenses – over multiple years and calendar quarters – could guide such endeavors to control the outgo of resources in expense reimbursement management. We must note such blended techniques allow an organization to devise an enlightened management policy, reinforce the confidence of employees in the top leadership, and devise stances that espouse best practices in said domain of human activity.

Principles of automation bear potential to impact various operational aspects of expense reimbursement management mechanisms. Such techniques rely overtly on the power of digital technologies to serialize expense management, track the Dollar amounts expended on said mechanisms, and impose uniformity on reimbursement at every level of the organization. Flowcharts empower the modern organization to plan the implementation of digital technologies, elevate the quality of outcomes in expense management missions, and objectively assess the cost savings gained therefrom. Expense reimbursement management systems and practices must flow from a detailed understanding of core management techniques; this empowers organizations to align said systems and practices with the overarching objectives enshrined in the founding charters of organizations.

A diversified range of email-based templates could constitute the functional backbone of an expense reimbursement management system. Pursuant to this technique, organizations could devise templates inside flowcharts to drive the design aspects to completion. These diagrams permit designers to position functional information inside templates, adjust the appearance of core aspects of such process, and elevate the functionality. For instance, executive management cadre could utilize a specific set of templates, while business associates could use other forms of digital documentation. Further, such templates could find definitive expression through color codes that elevate the expense reimbursement management process into a fully-fledged system. We must note such techniques must evolve over time, to preserve an element of dynamism in expense management systems. Evolution also allows organizations to manage said processes in tune with growth and expansion that may occur in various divisions and levels.

When formulating a business expense policy, the one thing that should remain a priority is ease of communication.” This statement assumes importance because expense reimbursement management must find premise in the foundations of corporate policy. In line with this, stewards of organizations must work to develop connections between expense management and clear communication with all manner of staff, employees, associates, workers, and interns. Such communication can proceed in terms of an enumeration of policy stances, email-driven updates, and the use of current and emerging information to enrich reimbursement processes, among others. Additionally, corporate planners could utilize communication paradigms to uphold best practices in this arena. A flowchart can assist the modern organization to construct and develop expense reimbursement management processes based on these inputs.

Enable managers to approve or escalate claims from a mobile device, to streamline the process, and avoid delays in authorizing vital business travel and other costs.” In line with this pro-active suggestion, organizations may design specific frameworks to accelerate process outcomes in terms of expense reimbursement management. For instance, employees that need to travel frequently could connect directly with managers and supervisors as part of expense reimbursement processes. Supervisors, on their part, could utilize technology-driven platforms to communicate with employees and reduce reaction time to requests. Such actions become critical when employees at multiple locations (or workers at distributed workplaces) need the support of employers during critical segments of their travel/work itinerary. Flowcharts could assist planners in developing different versions of such mechanisms.

Conflicts of interest may arise between employees and corporate versions of an organization’s expense reimbursement management program. Such scenarios could find exploration inside flowcharts that outline dispute resolution mechanisms, or alternative plans of action. Instances of conflict could undergo study at higher levels of the organization, and result in certain revisions to extant policy. Flowcharts can enable planners to devise mediator-led dispute resolution mechanisms, while bearing in mind the interests of both parties. Such instances could also encourage the organization to re-structure expense reimbursement management processes, thereby creating smoother systems of interaction in this domain.

Multiple versions of flowchart-based diagrams could assist organizations ignite innovation (and sustain momentum) in terms of driving quality of outcomes in expense reimbursement management processes. Such diagrams could preface corporate attempts to build greater paradigms of employee compensation, create equity-linked performance programs, ideate afresh in terms of linking performance to compensation, elevate the concept of expense management to global best practices, and develop sharper policy stances that excise ambiguity in such matters. Designers of flowcharts could also work to refine existing structures of expense management programs, thereby enabling higher levels of employee engagement inside the modern organization.

These lines of exploration direct our attention to the utility of deploying flowcharts in campaigns that center on expense reimbursement management. Structured diagrams empower thinkers and strategists to architect new versions of expense management programs, refine the operating aspects of such campaigns, and drive convergences with corporate stances and policy. Large conglomerates may elect to institute multiple variations of such programs, and explore certain levels of uniformity or divergence in tune with local markets and operating environments. The flowchart allows different lines of experimentation to bear fruit; these illustrations can spark new ideation that could expand the scope of such programs.

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