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Expense Management Glossary

Find descriptions about key terms related to employee travel and expense management, accounting automation and control automation.

Commuter allowance

A commuter allowance is an allowance employers can choose to pay employees to compensate them for their commute to their place of work. Conditions under which this allowance can be paid vary per country.

Daily allowance / Per diem

A per diem is a tax-free maximum daily allowance paid to a business traveller for a work-related journey. The lump sum is meant to cover the additional expenses a travelling employee incurs on a business trip.

Daily allowances are not considered as income and are therefore exempt from wage tax and social security contributions.

Deputy / Proxy / Assistant

Users can name a deputy or assistant to fulfil their role in the expense management process on their behalf such as to submit, approve or control expenses.


Digitalisation is the use of digital technologies and digitised data. Digitalisation transforms workflows, often optimising processes by automating tasks and reducing the need for paper, resulting in cost reductions.


Digitisation is the conversion of paper documents into digital documents.

In the context of expenses, it generally refers to the digitisation of receipts and invoices, simplifying their auditing and storage.

Document management

Document management refers to the process used to capture, track, manage and store electronic documents such as PDFs and digital images of paper-based content.

It provides security, access control, centralised storage, auditing capacity and streamlined document search and retrieval.


An ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning system) supports a company's business processes across all functions.

This includes materials management, human resources, sales and marketing as well as financial management, into which travel expense accounting is integrated.

Expense line

An expense line corresponds to the cost of purchase of a single good or service. Expense lines relating to the same business trip are usually collected into an expense report.

Expense management

Expense management refers to the processing, payment and auditing of employee expenses incurred while doing business.

Expense report

An expense report or expense note is the collection of expense lines, or items, usually related to a business trip taken by an employee.

Foreign VAT recovery

Foreign VAT recovery is the process by which organisations whose business travellers are charged VAT or GST may be entitled to VAT refund by the foreign country's authorities.

For an expense to be eligible for a VAT reclaim, it must fall within the allowed types of expenses and be accompanied by proof of payment.


The GoBD are the principles for the proper management and storage of books, records and documents in electronic form as well as for data access in Germany.

The GoBD are the foundations of a paperless, digital tax process in Germany.

Lump sum

A lump-sum payment is an amount paid all at once, as opposed to an amount that is divided and paid in multiple instalments. It usually refers to a daily allowance or per diem payment.

Mileage allowance

Mileage allowances are tax-free maximum allowances paid to a business traveller for a business-related journey taken with their private vehicle.

For each kilometre, a flat rate is calculated to account for costs such as car tax, insurance, maintenance and repair costs as well as general depreciation.


OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. It is a technology that converts text from the image of a document into digital text.

In the context of expense management, it allows for the automated capturing of data and processing of receipts and invoices.

Proof of purchase

Proof of purchase is evidence of the purchase of and payment for a product or service, usually a receipt or invoice.

In the context of business travel, employees must present proof of payment to claim back professional expenses from their employer.


SAF-T stands for "Standard Audit File for Tax". It is an international standard used to allow companies and organisations to electronically extract information from their accounting systems and arrange it in a standardised format that can easily be transferred to the tax authorities.


A settlement is the periodic process by which expenses and accounting operations are included in the accounting files sent by Mobilexpense to the customer.

It is up to the customer to then process the files, including the reimbursement of employee expenses.


SSO, or "single sign on", is an authentication solution that allows users to log in with a single ID and password to any software systems for which they are locally authorised.

Users can sign in to Mobilexpense using their company's SSO scheme such as ADFS or Microsoft Azure.


T&E stands for "Travel and Expense" or "Travel and Entertainment". It is used to refer to expenses incurred by employees travelling for business purposes or entertaining a client for business. Examples include expenses for lodging, transportation and meals.


VAT stands for value-added tax and is also referred to as goods and service tax or GST in some countries.

VAT is common in the European Union and in 100+ other countries such as Australia, Canada, India, and South Africa.

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