QUESTION: HR and Finance pose obstacles on approval, even though the manager has approved it.
FACT: HR and Finance arc simply providing additional checks in line with the company procedure.
If a manager has approved an expense report, it could still be questioned by HR or Finance. This leads to the impression that HR or Finance is unnecessarily creating problems for the employee.
Every company follows a workflow to approve expenses. This often requires at least two levels of approval. The number of levels can increase depending upon -the amount to be approved. The manager normally looks into the report and determines whether the expense is justified. If it is, he provides an initial go-ahead for these expenses. This is then routed through Finance (and HR, if required). They go through the entries in the report to determine whether each entry is correct and in accordance with company policy. If there is any deviation, they ask the person to justify it; if necessary, the employee is ,asked to seek approval again. And if it is not approved, then duly the non-controversial part is reimbursed.
Soft skills are important for HR and finance professionals too. Perceptions about HR and finance teams are formed by the way they communicate with employees. It is better to spend time explaining to an employee the reason behind not allowing certain expenses. Sometimes, in spite of the team’s best efforts, the employee is adamant, and in such cases, it is better to involve the person’s manager in the discussion.
As for managers, they need to understand corporate policies and the reasons why they exist. They should collaborate with other departments in order to provide a consistent and correct message to the employee.
WHAT CAN YOU DO AS THE EMPLOYEE? You can approach the support team (HR and Finance) and ask for the reason behind rejecting your claim. If you are still not convinced, you should talk to your manager and let him take up the case with the support team. You should understand that the support team has a role to play in ensuring compliance with company guidelines and in maintaining consistency in implementation across teams.
WHAT CAN YOU DO AS THE MANAGER? You should understand the policy well. If in doubt, you should check with the support team before approval. Avoid taking a stand in front of the employee that you really care-and that it is the support team which is not approving the cost. As a manager, you are the face of the organization to the employee, and organization includes the support team.