How to write an expense policy: Our guide

Reuben Allonby

In the world of business, clear and comprehensive expense policies are instrumental in ensuring financial accountability, transparency, and efficiency.

If you're in the process of establishing or revising your company’s expense policy, this detailed guide will offer valuable insights, addressing essential components and offering practical tips to enhance clarity and compliance.

About Equals Money

Understanding the importance of an expense policy

An expense policy outlines the guidelines concerning the company’s approved business expenses. It offers detailed information on reimbursement processes, acceptable expenses, and the required documentation.

Not only does an efficient expense policy minimise confusion and ambiguity, but it also aids in fostering an environment of financial transparency and accountability.

Key components of an expense policy:

1. Scope and objectives

Begin by outlining the primary objectives and scope of the policy. It should provide clear answers to what, why, and how, offering a comprehensive overview to all stakeholders.

2. Expense categories

Define various categories of expenses, such as travel, accommodation, meals, and entertainment. Specify guidelines for each to ensure consistency and fairness.

3. Approval processes

Describe the process for getting expenses approved, identifying who is authorised to approve expenses and the criteria for approval.

4. Documentation requirements

State the type of documentation required, like receipts and invoices, and the process for submission and storage.

Top tip: If looking for an expense management system or solution consider choosing one that aids reconciliation with receipt capture and storage, such as Equals Money.

5. Reimbursement procedures

Detail the steps for claiming reimbursements, including timeframes and modes of payment.

Complying with UK regulations

Understanding and adhering to UK legal and taxation requirements is pivotal. Ensure that your policy aligns with HMRC guidelines, particularly regarding VAT and taxable expenses.

Implementing the expense policy


Effectively communicate the policy to all employees through training sessions, workshops, or informational materials.

Technology integration

Leverage technology solutions to streamline expense management, reporting, and tracking for enhanced efficiency.

Review and revision

Regularly review and update the policy to ensure it remains aligned with organisational objectives, employee needs, and legal requirements.


Writing an effective expense policy necessitates a balanced approach, considering the organisation’s financial objectives, employee welfare, and regulatory compliance. By adhering to the outlined steps and ensuring a holistic approach, businesses can foster a culture of financial responsibility, transparency, and efficiency.

We hope this comprehensive guide offers valuable insights and practical steps to aid in crafting a robust expense policy tailored for the UK business environment.

Expense mangement

Expert insights on demand

Sign up to our daily market reports to get the latest news and insights on worldwide currency movements straight to your inbox every morning.

Enter your email address below to subscribe.