General
3 min read

5 steps to get those missing credit card receipts.

The books need to be closed later this week, but you're still missing material. Purchase invoices, Sales invoices, even salaries are all there with proper vouchers, but not even half the credit card bill is reconciled. Don't those employees with credit cards understand that you need the receipts to do your job? You've expressed your needs to them multiple times, but the receipts are always delivered late. You're seeing nightmares of missing receipts. 

We've been where you are; we know your feeling. But fear not, there is hope. We've gathered five steps you can follow to improve the process.

Step 1 - Don't burst in anger: Think of them as babies, help them!

Sending an angry email asking for the missing receipts might help once, but eventually, it will make the cc employees dislike the process even more, which will make it even harder next time. Instead, try thinking of them as babies. Cute as ever, but they don't quite understand the concept of deadlines or reconciliation. Explain it to them as you would to a baby: help them get started, let them know what receipts are missing and how to add them. Send a glad message a few days before the credit card bill comes in asking them to submit the receipts.

Step 2 - Make the process your friend.

The process might be clear to you, but the cc employees might only see clouds. Descript the current process step by step, let them know what they and others need to do. For example, write it out like this:

  • YOU: Download the expense app from HERE, sign in with your company email
  • YOU: Take a picture of physical receipts with the app, fill in the form
  • YOU: Forward email receipts to receipt@app.bezala.com, wait a few seconds and go back to the expense claim app, fill in the form for the email receipt
  • APPROVER: After you've filled in the form, the receipt will go through the approval process. The approver will automatically be informed about missing receipts by expense app.
  • EXPENSE APP: Once receipts are approved, they will be sent to accounting automatically each [ENTER INTERVAL HERE].
  • ACCOUNTANT: Once the receipts are in accounting, we will reconcile them with the credit card bill, after which the accounting for that receipt is complete.

Now share the documented process with the cc employees. Send them a friendly email asking them to follow the process, you can even fill it in with some pro tips, like letting them know how to set up automatic forwarding of receipts.

Step 3 - "I will follow the process, no matter what."

Say this to your self three times:

  • "I will follow the process, no matter what."
  • "I will follow the process, no matter what."
  • "I will follow the process, no matter what."

Like getting up each time a baby yells, you're enforcing lousy behaviour by allowing cc employees to deviate from the process. Automation cannot happen unless everyone follows the process. The process should be your friend, so don't backstab it: enforce it!

Next time a cc employee sends receipts to you by email directly, reply by saying:

"A for Effort but F for behaviour: You know we have a process, and I can't reinforce bad behaviour by allowing you to deviate from it, please submit the receipts using the expense app.

Step 4 - Automate as much as possible

There are two problems that with the process that can, and should be solved automatically: Reminding of missing receipts, doing so before the bill arrives.

Modern expense apps should allow you to set up an automated process for reminding of missing receipts. You can either have the expense app integrated with the credit card company or simply import the credit card receipts manually. When imported, make sure that the expense app automatically reconciles the receipts with the credit card purchases, and lets you know which receipts are missing.

To take it a step further, ask if your expense app could let your cc employees know what receipts are missing before the credit card bill arrives. That way the cc employees will have more time to submit the receipts.

Step 5 - Reward good behaviour

Send the cc employees some funny emojis or a sweet message when you see that they've submitted all of their receipts on time. Let them know that you noticed their hard work and acknowledge them.

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Following the five steps won't guarantee that you'll get the receipts on time. Some cc employees might be sick or on vacation, and others might be too lazy to submit them on time. Some receipts might even be lost, but following the steps and the process will maximise the odds of getting the receipts submitted on time.


Read mode about Bezala's missing receipts reminder