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What is reimbursement?

In travel expense management, reimbursement refers to the process by which an employee is compensated for the expenses they have incurred during business travel. This compensation typically covers costs such as transportation, lodging, meals, and other related expenses that were paid for out-of-pocket by the employee during the course of their business trip.

Key Points:

  1. Purpose: To compensate employees for expenses they have paid for on behalf of the company during business-related travel.

  2. Process: After the employee submits a detailed expense report or claim, documenting their expenditures, the company reviews and verifies the expenses for accuracy and compliance with company policies.

  3. Approval: Once the expenses have been reviewed and approved by the appropriate personnel (often a manager or supervisor), the employee is entitled to reimbursement.

  4. Payment: Reimbursement may be provided in the form of direct deposit, a physical check, or through a corporate reimbursement system.

  5. Timeliness: Companies often have specific timelines for processing reimbursements to ensure that employees are promptly compensated for their expenses.


An employee travels for a business conference and incurs expenses totaling $500 for transportation, lodging, and meals. After submitting an expense report with receipts and documentation, the expenses are reviewed and approved by the employee's manager. The employee is then reimbursed $500 to cover the costs incurred during the business trip.


  • Fairness: Ensures that employees are not financially burdened by business-related expenses.

  • Compliance: Helps ensure that expenses are in line with company policies and guidelines.

  • Employee Satisfaction: Prompt reimbursement fosters goodwill and satisfaction among employees.

  • Accuracy: Provides a systematic approach to recording and compensating for expenses incurred during business travel.

Reimbursement is a fundamental aspect of travel expense management, ensuring that employees are fairly compensated for expenses they have accrued while representing the company on business trips.

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