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An Expense Management System Avoids Drama in a Crisis

by David Rockliff, Managing Director, RBS Commercial Cards,
Global Transaction Services (GTS)

David Rockliff, Managing Director, RBS Global Commercial Cards, explains how companies can control cash and the burden on employees when emergencies cause unexpected expenses.

Crises can be costly in many ways, some of which are less obvious than others.

Crises can be costly in many ways, some of which are less obvious than others. Surprise disruptions such as the volcanic ash eruption, heavy snow or this year’s tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan can leave employees stranded and companies having to deal with unexpected demands for cash.  Such crises are certainly serious for everyone involved, so you need to be sure that affected employees are fully aware of expense policies in place to support them, giving them one less thing to worry about. A suitable expense management system can prevent employees from being out of pocket and enable companies to keep control of their cash at the same time.

Unfortunately, companies commonly discover the flaws in their expense control systems at just the moment when the system is most needed – in an emergency. This is especially so when the crisis is prolonged: the Icelandic volcano Eyjaafjallajökull continues to cause problems and in 2010 wreaked havoc with European flights intermittently for a month. Employees stuck abroad when travel is disrupted are forced to dig deep into their pockets to pay for accommodation, sustenance and different travel arrangements, which they may not be able to afford.