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To think this is too long to wait for expenses?

38 replies

Rhayader · 07/07/2017 07:07

Everywhere I have worked before, expenses have been processed on a monthly basis, or sometimes every 2 weeks. Meaning that you are never out of pocket for too long. I have never had to claim for anything more than a train ticket, and my biggest claim was less than £100.

DH has been working at a company for a few years now, but he has never had to claim for anything as he as always been with his boss for meals and has never traveled anywhere.

In the last month he has been on two long haul trips and has another 2 in the next 2 months. DH gave all of his receipts to his bosses PA when he got back from the first trip and I have been waiting for them to come into our account but they haven't. Upon asking it appears that the company have a policy where they process and pay expenses every 3 months! By cheque! (DH didn't know this until he asked around).

We are not talking about insignificant amounts of money here, the hotel for the first trip alone was £2K, plus meals, taxis etc. There is no way we can pay this out of pocket for 4 trips and if we put it on credit cards it's a long enough wait that we will be paying interest on the debt.

AIBU to think this is way too long to wait or is this pretty standard and we are just unlucky to have so many trips at once?

OP posts:
LadyPenelopeCantDance · 07/07/2017 07:09


Can the company not provide a company credit card if he is going to be travelling? That's what my company do.

Perhaps look at interest free credit cards in the meantime?

HopefullyAnonymous · 07/07/2017 07:11

That's ridiculous. I process expenses at work and have to have them paid within a week of receiving them. In my last job they were paid monthly, but in both places we could attange to pay them immediately if requested by the employee.

Rhayader · 07/07/2017 07:12

They can do a company card but it takes ages to set up and these trips have all come quite suddenly. He is flying today but if he applied on Monday he wouldn't have it in time for the next trip where he leaves on Saturday. The same goes for an interest free card i guess...

He would have it for trip number 4 though.

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Decaffstilltastesweird · 07/07/2017 07:13

Yanbu. It's always been monthly where I've worked too.

How was his travel arranged? The hotel can be paid for by the company through the travel agent. I used to be a travel coordinator for a large company and we did this sometimes.

ShotsFired · 07/07/2017 07:13

Yeah that's bollocks (and bad timing re the trips too).

I work for a company who are notoriously shit at paying suppliers, but even they manage to do expenses ok. They do a monthly payment for expenses - this month, for example, the deadline is Monday (10th). I will expect to see mine in my back account by around 23rd-24th. Certainly before payday.

A month or two ago I had a very big claim (around 5k). Finance whinged about it but still paid up promptly/same timeframe.

I know the advice is always "get a cash advance" but I have never worked anywhere that actually did this, so it's always been a singularly unhelpful suggestion (and out of 5 employers only one has given me the mythical company credit card!).

If I ended up paying interest, I would fully expect the company to reimburse me on that as well, on sight of the statement (and would try to keep one card for work expenses to make it easier).

Rhayader · 07/07/2017 07:18

So the way travel works is that you the company pay for and book your flights, they book your hotel. But because they dont get all-inc rooms, DH just orders room service or goes to the hotel restaurant or somewhere else to eat.

The whole bill for the hotel, meals, taxis, drinks out etc is paid out of pocket by the employee. I think this must be the first time that someone without a company card has had so many trips in a short space of time. Its a small company - less than 100 employees in the UK and all managers have company cards. If he applied for a company card he would get one but it takes 2-3 weeks. If we had known in advance that this would take so long he could have had one before trip 3.

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Decaffstilltastesweird · 07/07/2017 07:25

The company books the hotel, but I'm guessing they don't pay for the room rate? Ime they can do it in and be invoiced if they want to. And ime they can also agree to pay the whole bill if they want to. They really should have done this if your DH doesn't have a company credit card, seeing as the expenses take so long to come through. Obviously that isn't much help right now though. I'm irritated on your behalf though.

Decaffstilltastesweird · 07/07/2017 07:26

Hotels will also deal directly with companies to send invoices. I had someone travel to the states and his credit card wouldn't work, so I spoke directly to the hotel to get his bill paid.

ShotsFired · 07/07/2017 07:26

The whole bill for the hotel, meals, taxis, drinks out etc is paid out of pocket by the employee.

This is something at least. My firm say that that is how they prefer to do it, but in reality what that means is that the travel lady (based in an office in another country) will happily book me on a 4am flight from an airport 100 miles away from my home, when there is one at 6am from my home airport for £10 more. So most of us just book it ourselves...

I would apply for the company card now, but do check the small print. The one company card I ever had (major household name employer) was set up such that it I was somehow ultimately personally liable for the bill and any missed payments etc would go against my credit record (despite the card having the company name also embossed on the front). I think I had to claim the spends on it as expenses anyway, so ultimately it didn't make much difference!

It was a long time ago but I have been leery of them ever since!

Decaffstilltastesweird · 07/07/2017 07:30


Your 'travel lady' sounds crap! Are they looking to replace her at all Wink?

Rhayader · 07/07/2017 07:32

Ah ShotsFired that sucks - for flights the PA contacts the travel agent who sends her a list of flights with the type of plane, times, airports etc and DH picks. I know this because he opted to fly first class on a brand new plane which he was very excited about.

At least that part of the system works well - probably because all the senior people with company cards have their flights booked that way too and the system DH is in is an afterthought.

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wowfudge · 07/07/2017 07:39

Flying first class is incredibly and unnecessarily expensive. He needs to apply for the company credit card and speak to them to get his expenses paid more quickly. Whilst he is waiting for the credit card to come through, he should ask that the company pays his expenses directly with the suppliers.

Rhayader · 07/07/2017 07:42

Wowfudge, I think it depends, its nowhere near the cost you see on the airlines websites. When you book through a corporate travel agent you can sometimes get free first upgrades and often for less than a couple of hundred pounds. Also depends on the airline, BA are quite splashy with upgrades, Cathay.. not so much.

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Rhayader · 07/07/2017 07:43

That said, I personally have never flown, and probably never will fly first class!

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Havingahorridtime · 07/07/2017 07:47

When I was a student and has to do a compulsory work placement I had to wait six months to get my expenses paid (not paid until the placement ended). This was with a local authority.
In paid work I have either had expenses paid monthly or bi monthly.

Decaffstilltastesweird · 07/07/2017 07:55

Sometimes they do first class seats for the same price as business. It's a promotional thing to business travellers. Presumably the pa wouldn't show the op's DH flights which were out of travel policy.

WomblingThree · 07/07/2017 07:59

Bugger that. Can he just set up an account with the hotel(s) and they send the invoice direct to his company? When I worked in hotels this was pretty standard practice.

I'd be charging his company interest after the first month. No one should be out of pocket to do their flipping job!

bbcessex · 07/07/2017 07:59

You're right OP. That is too long. My company is massive.. we have an online travel booking and expense system and everyone, irrespective of level, books and manages their own.

Your husband needs to apply for the corporate card and also ask for an exceptional payment for outstanding expenses. I can't see why they wouldn't approve it.

bbcessex · 07/07/2017 08:00

Ps.. just noticed the 'cheque' 😱
Suggest the business is in urgent need of transforming!

ShotsFired · 07/07/2017 08:26

@Decaffstilltastesweird Your 'travel lady' sounds crap! Are they looking to replace her at all wink?
Grin To be fair, she does other stuff too, she just got lumped with travel one fine day!

And I don't blame her - she is looks online and sees "London Southend" offering what seems to be a great flight, how is she meant to know that it's nowhere bloody near London (or anywhere, really!) and that transport connections are shocking.

@Rhayader Ah ShotsFired that sucks - for flights the PA contacts the travel agent who sends her a list of flights with the type of plane, times, airports etc and DH picks. I know this because he opted to fly first class on a brand new plane which he was very excited about.

Wow! Even our CEO doesn't fly first class! He not infrequently gets a good business class deal, and/or upgrades due to frequent flier status, but as we have very strict price limits, it's usually economy - even long haul to Asia or USA West Coast.

Rhayader · 07/07/2017 08:30

Yes, a cheque! The only person I know still using them in my grandmother...

Right, DH is currently in the air and will be back this evening (and pretty tired I think) but tomorrow I will talk to him about this.

I seriously doubt he will want to kick up a fuss to get paid the interest but certainly he will get the ball rolling on the company card. I don't see an end to this travelling now although it should decrease a bit in frequency.

The total amount for these 4 trips will probably about about £13K which is a crazy amount of money to expect someone at his level of pay to be out of pocket. Looks like I am unanimously not being unreasonable here.

I will ask him to get one of the PAs to investigate alternative payment methods for the hotel but for everything else it will still be out of pocket for the next trip at least before he can get a card for trip 4. He cant exactly ask a restaurant or a taxi driver to bill his company.

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Decaffstilltastesweird · 07/07/2017 08:32

Ah fair enough shots. I'll stop trying to poach her job now then Grin.

As has been demonstrated on here, I think having a designated travel booker is becoming a thing of the past. Most big companies get people to book their own travel now.

Rhayader · 07/07/2017 08:34

Yeah Shots he was really excited, we always fly economy although we flew premium economy on our honeymoon... He flew first on trip 1 there and back but it's business on the one he's on now, and business on trip 3 as well.

I think they let them upgrade to first if its free/cheap basically, but everything else is business.

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ShotsFired · 07/07/2017 08:35

I'll keep you in mind if she resigns...have you considered moving to an old European city at all?

yummycake123 · 07/07/2017 08:49

I agree with PP, if he's travelling that much he needs a company credit card.
Where I work, the company books our flights and hotels (excluding breakfast). All food + taxis we have to expense. But we get the money back within 2 weeks.
Everyone who travels regularly has a company credit card.
It's a pain because it does crate a hole in your budget, especially if you're talking thousands of pounds...

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