Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Expenses bureaucracy

Afternoon,

******** ****** have put in a request for some very detailed information as part of its CSR obligations; this information is becoming more important and ******** has committed to report on several CSR metrics for the 2009 year. Finance and HR are working on this now.

Collation of this data retrospectively is a nightmare both in terms of extreme inefficiency and compromised accuracy given time-lag etc. We need your help to make the task easier for the 2010 reports. To do this we need you to report distances travelled whilst on business by filling in the business miles field on the expense claim. This will be required when using any of the following modes of transport when making an expense claim:

Personal car
Hire car
Pool car
Taxi
Overground
Underground

For those journeys that are regular to your client I suggest team secretaries investigate the number of miles and circulate to team members for use on claims as they arise. Which should help save some time.
Capturing the number of passengers is also key, so please remember to accurately fill in the agency staff field too, plus number of clients if applicable to the journey in question.

I really wish we didn't have to impose this additional burden, but it's completely out of our control and has been mandated by *****.

Please can you make sure you include this data in all expenses claims following this note; I'm afraid if the data is not provided we will need to return incomplete expense forms to you and this will delay payment to you..which we obviously don't want to happen.

To put what we're asking of you into some form of context.....we are also being asked to provide data on how much glass we recycle and sheets of paper used, provide a split of electricity used between type of usage and a host of other pieces of info - I'm sure you can imagine how much fun that is!! So your help in capturing business miles is really appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your understanding and assistance...... and if you have any questions, please shout.

****

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Thank you very much for this ****.

However, when I use the Circle Line, I am only able to travel around it in a clockwise direction. This is for medical reasons (I have an inner-ear balance problem). Therefore, even if I'm only needing to travel one stop from, say, Gloucester Road to South Kensington, I have to travel 26 stops to adhere to my clockwise requirement. Could you please clarify what mileage I record in this scenario? Is it the single mile that the proverbial crow would have flown, or is it the 25 miles I would have actually travelled?

Please feel free to refer this to the ******** ****** HQ. They seem to have a lot of time on their hands.

Many thanks,

****

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the 25 as it offsets the carbon footprint of all the taxis you take...

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I have a question. Should we use miles or kilometres?

Given that France was the first country to adopt the metric system (1791), would it be easier to supply the data in that form, or is there a special finance person in ***** who will be performing the calculation?

In 1999 NASA famously lost a $125 million Mars orbiter, because one engineering bod used metric units, while another used US customary units for a calculation. Silly. I'd be pretty furious if I lost expenses of a similar amount, so it would be good to know.

Thanks for the clarification.

As a minor aside, I hope the research into sheets of paper used isn't going to extend to 'private' functions - we all like to treat ourselves to a safety wipe from time to time, and I wouldn't want ***** to poke their noses in there.

Yours in CSR,

*****

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