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Ramadan Benefits in the Workplace: A Guide to the UAE and MENA Region

Leen Shami

March 23, 2023

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The month of Ramadan provides HR Managers with the opportunity to take the initiative in their organization and implement a benefit program for employees and to remind them to support their Muslim colleagues during this holy month.

What are the benefits of implementing a Ramadan employee benefits program?

Employees who observe Ramadan may require special considerations in order to maintain a high level of performance.

The main goal of any corporate environment is to get the best possible results, but this can only be achieved if your team is given a supportive environment.

During Ramadan, HR managers and employers should consider implementing employee benefits programs to ensure that their employees are able to fulfill their religious commitments while feeling supported by their companies.  

By doing so, you will help ensure that every member of your team has access to the resources they need to be productive and successful.

Employee benefits program

Flexible working hours

Allow employees to come in late or leave early during Ramadan, modify their hours so they can work when they feel the most energized,and be able to take part in religious activities such as prayers while still being productive at work.

Remote or hybrid work

Remote or hybrid work can provide employees with more flexibility and autonomy to manage their work and religious obligations during Ramadan, allowing them to maintain their productivity and well-being while observing the holy month's spiritual practices.

Set up dedicated prayer spaces

Having dedicated prayer spaces can help employees maintain their spiritual practices during the workday. This is particularly important during Ramadan when employees may need to perform their daily prayers. Providing these spaces can make it easier for employees to observe their religious obligations without having to leave the workplace or worry about finding a suitable location to pray.

Accommodate dietary needs

Provide employees with food options that meets all dietary needs, so they can break their fast at the office if needed.

Examples of foods that are commonly used to break the fast:

  • Dates
  • Dried fruits
  • Ayran (yogurt drink)
  • Soups
  • Sambusak ( pastry filled with cheese or meat)

Inclusivity

 Promote open dialogue between employees of different faiths to foster an inclusive workplace environment. Consider arranging a presentation for those who would like to learn more about Ramadan and Islam.

Gift and Bonus Programs

Corporate gift and bonus programs during Ramadan can take many forms, but the underlying purpose is to show appreciation to employees for their efforts and to strengthen the relationship between the employer and employees.

Here are some common examples of corporate gift and bonus programs during Ramadan:

Eid al-Fitr bonus

It could be an additional incentive where employers give their employees an additional payment or bonus at the end of Ramadan to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month of fasting.

Corporate gifts

Companies may offer gifts such as food hampers, prayer mats, and other religious items to their employees during Ramadan as a way to show appreciation and respect for their faith.

You could also delight your employees with a gift that they can use to enjoy dinner with their families. One way of doing this is by issuing Pluto corporate cards for your employees with an allocated budget on them. For e.g., you can issue a your employee a Pluto corporate card with a 500 AED spend limit to be used a restaurant of their choice.

Charitable donations

Some companies may choose to make charitable donations on behalf of their employees during Ramadan as a way to give back to the community and show solidarity with those in need.

You can add on to that by giving your employees the opportunity to pick what charity they would like the company to donate to.

It's worth noting that corporate gift and bonus programs during Ramadan should not be seen as an obligation or a substitute for fair compensation and benefits throughout the year. Rather, they are a way to show appreciation and strengthen the relationship between employer and employees.

Iftar and Suhoor Programs

Iftar and Suhoor are the two main meals that Muslims consume during Ramadan. 

Iftar is the meal that is eaten after breaking the fast at sunset, while suhoor is the pre-dawn meal that is eaten before the fast begins.

These meals have significant cultural and religious importance, and hosting iftar and suhoor programs can provide a sense of community and inclusivity in the workplace during Ramadan.

Importance of iftar and suhoor programs

Iftar and suhoor programs provide the opportunity for employees to come together and share in the spiritual significance of Ramadan.

These types of activities are also beneficial for team building, as they create an atmosphere of camaraderie among colleagues and foster a stronger work culture.

Its importance can be categorized into three main points:

  1. Connection: Sharing a meal with colleagues can help to strengthen connections and build relationships, fostering a sense of community in the workplace.
  2. Cultural awareness: Hosting iftar and suhoor programs can provide an opportunity for employees of different backgrounds and faiths to learn about Ramadan and its traditions.
  3. Appreciation: Providing meals for employees during these times shows that the company values and appreciates its employees and their religious beliefs.

Examples of iftar and suhoor programs for employees and how to host one:

  • Potluck iftar: Organize a potluck iftar at the office, where employees bring their favorite dish to share with their colleagues.
  • Company-sponsored iftar: Host an iftar event at a restaurant,  where the company provides food and drinks for employees to break their fast [see list of recommended restaurants below].
  • Virtual iftar: For remote workers or those who cannot attend in person, host a virtual iftar.
  • Charity iftar: Host an iftar event where a portion of the proceeds goes to a charity or non-profit organization. (Please make sure you are in line with UAE charity regulations before doing so. Learn more here)
  • Catered iftar: Hire a catering company to provide a full meal for employees to break their fast [see list of recommended catering companies below].
  • Suhoor breakfast: Host a breakfast event before the start of the workday for employees who are fasting.
  • Iftar meal delivery: Deliver meals to employees who are working late or unable to attend the in-person event.
  • Ramadan decorations: Decorate the workplace with Ramadan-themed decorations to create a festive atmosphere.
  • Ramadan trivia: Host a trivia game related to Ramadan and its traditions during the iftar or suhoor event.
  • Ramadan volunteer day: Organize a volunteer day where employees can give back to the community during the month of Ramadan.

Prayer programs

Observing taraweeh and Laylat al-Qadr during Ramadan helps Muslims to deepen their faith and spirituality, and it provides an opportunity to reflect on their actions and intentions throughout the year.

An employee prayer program during Ramadan can have numerous benefits for companies and their employees, including promoting diversity and inclusion, improving morale and relationships, and fulfilling social responsibility.

Taraweeh

Taraweeh prayers are additional prayers that Muslims perform during the holy month of Ramadan after the Isha prayer. These prayers are performed in congregation and typically consist of 8 to 20 cycles of prayer, depending on the tradition.

Companies can host taraweeh prayers at a mosque or the office on specific days of the week, such as Tuesdays, to create a sense of belonging and inclusivity among employees.

Laylet al-Qadr

Laylat al-Qadr, also known as the Night of Power, is considered to be one of the holiest nights in Islam. It is believed to be the night when the first verses of the Quran were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, and it is said to be a night of forgiveness and mercy.

With laylat al-qadr being the most important night of Ramadan, it is important for your company to offer benefits during this day, such as:

  • Consider giving the following day as PTO, since most Muslims stay up all night in prayer and reflection.
  • Offer a transportation stipend to the mosque in order to show the company’s support of their employees religious beliefs.
  • You can do so using Pluto’s platform by offereing a one-time purchase card with a set limit that can only be used with taxis, Careems, Uber or for gas.

Ramadan email templates that can be shared with employees

There is a lot to take care of when preparing for Ramadan. We've put together some sample email templates for various corporate initiatives to make your job easier.

Email Template 1: Announcing flexible working hours during Ramadan

Subject: Ramadan Working Hours

Dear [Employee Name],

As the holy month of Ramadan approaches, we would like to inform you that we will be implementing flexible working hours during this time to accommodate those who will be observing the fast.

Our office will be open from [start time] to [end time]. We understand that some employees may need to adjust their schedules due to the early morning and evening prayers, as well as breaking their fast in the evenings.

If you need to adjust your working hours, please speak to your line manager, who will be happy to discuss the best option for you.

Our company values diversity and inclusivity, and we hope that this initiative will help our employees observe Ramadan comfortably.

We wish all our staff observing Ramadan a blessed month, and may you get the best out of this spiritual journey.

Ramadan Mubarak!

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Email Template 2: Announcing company charitable donations during Ramadan

Subject: Ramadan Charitable Donations

Dear [Employee Name],

As we approach the holy month of Ramadan, we would like to remind you that our company values generosity and charitable giving. In line with this, we have decided to make a donation to [charity name], which supports [cause].

We believe that this is a great opportunity to give back to those in need and demonstrate our commitment to making a positive impact in the community. We hope that this donation will inspire you to consider making a charitable contribution during this holy month.

Thank you for being part of our company, and we wish you a blessed Ramadan.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Email Template 3: Inviting employees to an Iftar meal

Subject: [Company Name] invites you  to an Iftar Meal

Dear [Employee Name],

We would like to invite you to an Iftar meal on [date and time], which will be held at [location]. This event is an opportunity for our employees to come together and break their fasts as a community.

Please RSVP to [email/phone number] by [RSVP deadline] to confirm your attendance. If you have any dietary requirements, please let us know, and we will do our best to accommodate them.

We hope that this event will be an enjoyable experience for everyone and that it will help to strengthen our company culture.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication, and we wish you a blessed Ramadan.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Corporate gifting list

Iftar or suhoor restaurant list

  • Asateer Tent at Atlantis the Palm
  • Sufra
  • The Majlis
  • Allo Beirut
  • Hutong
  • Terrace on the Corniche at St. Regis Abu Dhabi
  • The Royal Majlis
  • Eunoia By Carine
  • Bombay Bungalow
  • Brasserie Boulud
  • Ibn AlBahr
  • Al Falak Ballroom
  • Karam Al Bahr

Company catering list

  • Ogram
  • Blast catering
  • Eat catering
  • The Majlis
  • Dish

Conclusion

Ultimately, providing Ramadan benefits demonstrates an employer and HR's commitment to promoting diversity and religious freedom in the workplace.

It also helps create a sense of community among employees that can lead to increased morale, collaboration, communication, and overall productivity.

By offering an employee benefits program during the holy month of Ramadan, employers can show their dedication to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for all of their employees, regardless of faith or background.

Ramadan benefits can thus be an important part of workplace culture, helping to create a positive atmosphere in which everyone feels welcome, respected, and valued.

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5
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Spend Management
December 6, 2022

Vlad Falin

Efficient Receipt Management For UAE Businesses

Collecting, storing, and otherwise managing receipts is essential to a well-oiled expense reporting machine. 

Each receipt serves as confirmation of payment processing between yourself and the customer or vendor. You also need expense and sales receipts to file taxes and maintain your peace of mind.

Unfortunately, while saying receipt management is easy, the whole process itself is daunting. Tracking hundreds, thousands, even millions of employee and customer receipts leaves loopholes for fraud and misreporting. 

Physical expense receipts are especially susceptible to being lost, damaged, or fading with time.

Fortunately, there’s a better way to do it: digital receipt management with Pluto.

  • Automate more of the expense management process
  • Reduce the risk of fraud and inaccuracies
  • Create more efficient workflows and financial departments
  • And overall streamline modern business operations

While you probably can’t eliminate 100% of paper receipts from your workday, you can still improve your process with an increasingly-digital footprint!

What is Receipt Management?

Receipt management is the process of collecting, tracking, and storing business receipts. This task is usually handled by internal finance teams. Their role involves collecting various receipts, tracking costs in accounting software, and storing these receipts for future reference. Additionally, they may need to manually sort each expense, depending on the system in place.

Why Do You Need It?

  • A well-run receipt management protocol is crucial for businesses for several reasons:

1. Simplify Employee Reimbursement Programs: It aids in the smooth operation of reimbursement programs for employees.

2. Track and Report Tax Deductions: It's essential for accurately tracking and reporting tax deductions.

3. Provide Proof during Tax Audits: It serves as necessary documentation during tax audits.

4. Streamline Expense Reports and Budgets: Helps in making expense reports and budgeting more efficient.

5. Combat Internal Fraud and Inauthentic Chargebacks: Plays a key role in preventing fraud and false chargebacks within the company.

6. Avoid Repair or Replacement Costs for Items Under Warranty: Keeps track of receipts necessary for warranty claims, saving costs on repairs or replacements.

7. Calculate and Improve Long-Term Profitability: Receipt management is vital in calculating and enhancing the long-term profitability of a business.

Different types of receipt management systems are in use today, including those for printed receipts, e-receipts, and even handwritten receipts. This diversity can be challenging for businesses, as they need to follow multiple procedures to reconcile their books effectively.

Types of receipt management

Today, there are three basic ways to handle receipts directly:

  • Manual receipt management involves handling, tracking, and storing paper receipts
  • Digitization receipt management scans physical receipts to digitize the tracking process
  • Digital-only receipt management is used for online or digitally generated receipts

While many businesses are moving toward digitization and digital-only receipts, some businesses are stuck in the dark ages. (The kind that involves typing physical receipt information into a digital spreadsheet.)  

And as we’ll see below, manual entry strategies come with some…problems.  

Difficulties of Manual Receipt Management

1. Easily Lost or Damaged Receipts

Perhaps the most obvious problem with physically tracking expense receipts is that there’s so much that can go wrong. Lost, damaged, or faded receipts make the business expense tracking process that much harder.

Even if the employee who spent the money doesn’t drop their receipt, it’s possible for paperwork to get lost on a desk somewhere. And if you need to find a receipt two years later? Better hope it was filed properly and hasn’t faded completely.  

2. Consumes Human Resources

Manual receipt management is an extremely hours-intensive process.

Your financial team has to collect invoices, type their data into your accounting software, and double-check their work. Then, they have to reconcile business expenses against company credit card statements and track down potential instances of fraud or misreporting.

Not only does this require a lot of time, but it also impacts employee productivity. Every hour an accountant spends tracking receipts is an hour of productivity lost elsewhere.

3. Leaves Room for Human Error

Aside from the time and human resource cost, manual receipt management presents the potential for human error. And unlike on the product line or in customer service, every reporting mistake risks an unfavorable tax audit.

Even the simplest receipt management and tracking process involves several steps from collection to reconciliation. Every stage is an opportunity for an employee to get distracted, mistype a name or number, or duplicate entries. In bigger cases, they might even duplicate a payment, costing you more money.

And even if you catch the mistakes before they’re submitted, that’s more human hours wasted double-checking and correcting completed work.

4. Increases Fraud and Misreporting Risk

The risk of fraud is higher in manual receipt management programs, and instances of fraud may be harder to detect. Types of fraud that commonly crop up in expense reporting include:

  • Inflated claim amounts
  • Claiming personal costs on the business’ dime
  • Submitting expense reports twice
  • Falsifying “proof” to claim for money that wasn’t spent

Unfortunately, manual receipt management makes these kinds of fraud more likely and difficult to catch. For example, if the employee who authenticates receipts is committing or permitting the fraud, it’s harder to detect until after you’ve lost money.

Over time, even small acts of fraud can have massive financial consequences.

5. Contributes to Employee Dissatisfaction

For many companies, employee reimbursement programs contribute both to the need for manual receipt management – and to employee dissatisfaction.

Think about it. In a modern, tech-savvy business world, why should employees have to pay out of pocket, ever? 

Virtual cards and online-based businesses have all but eliminated the need for an employee to front your expenses.

But if you’re still stuck doing manual receipt management, chances are, your employees are still submitting reimbursement tickets. (And grumbling about the time it takes to get paid back.)

And that’s not even touching on the frustration, tedium, and headaches manual receipt management programs cause your high-paid finance teams.  

6. Jacks Up Business Costs

Together, all these factors paint a picture of increased business costs.

The time and human resource cost to track, reconcile, and store receipts.

The human and financial cost of detecting and counteracting fraud.

Even the maintenance costs for your printer and filing cabinets.

Every dollar spent on manual receipt management is a dollar sucked from office parties, growth, or your bottom line.

Benefits of Digital Receipt Management

It’s easy to see the costs that manual receipt management impose. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: digital receipt management.

In short, digital receipt management involves using digital copies of receipts in your expense reporting strategy. Digital smart receipts are easy – simply integrate them into your accounting software and let automation take you away.

But even physical sales receipts can be digitized, Pluto allows you to digitize your receipt very simply - through your phone. 

Incorporating such technology means that even paper receipts fold neatly into your overarching digital strategy.

And as you’ll see, the process comes with tons of benefits.

1. Increases Integration Potential

A massive benefit of digital tracking is the sheer integration potential. Most receipt management tools, from receipt scanning devices to receipt tracking software, easily mesh with your existing expense reports system.

From there, you can automate mindless tasks and set up occasional human checks to ensure the system works as intended.

2. Fewer Costly Errors

Another way that a digital receipt management program saves costs is by reducing employee errors. Digital receipts should meld seamlessly into your tracking system – no surprises there.

But even processing physical receipts is cheaper and easier.

With their mobile phones, employees can scan receipts and upload them instantly. From there, Pluto categorizes the information and adds it to the overall report.

While employees may spend a second filling in any blanks, increased automation greatly reduces the risk of input errors.

3. Reduces Risk of Fraud

Less human interference means your financial system is more resilient to fraudulent activities. Pluto improves speed and accuracy while digitizing the receipts.

That leaves fewer opportunities for fraudulent claims.

4. Reduces Clutter

Uploading physical receipts means less physical space is needed for storage. That can save you on storage costs and reduce desktop and file cabinet clutter.

And because everything’s digitally maintained, you’ll still meet or exceed your tax authority’s required financial record storage period. 

Not to mention, just finding your records will be easier than ever!

5. Easier Audits

No person or business enjoys tax season. But digital management makes the process at least a little easier. 

Because all of your information is stored online, it’s easier to access and export receipts as needed. 

When tax time or the dreaded audit comes around, your data will be well-organized and easily accessible.  

6. More Efficient Expense Reporting

Traditional receipt management is a costly, time-intensive, error-prone manual process that used to be necessary. With modern tools, businesses can streamline the entire financial structure of their organization.

No more lost receipts or worrying about fraud.

Less time spent inputting and double-checking data, and more time helping your business grow.

All these positive benefits will improve efficiency – and even bring smiles to your accountants’ faces.

7. Faster Reimbursements

Like using a virtual corporate card, digital receipt management speeds up the reimbursement process. 

Since everything is tracked and verified electronically, it’s easy to set up an automatic or streamlined reimbursement protocol.

8. Putting Your Eco-Friendly Foot Forward

Lastly, any step your business can take toward going paperless is good news for the environment. 

Cutting down fewer trees and reducing printer ink usage are laudable goals that can decrease your environmental footprint. 

Not only will you enjoy cost savings, but you’ll feel better about doing business in an increasingly eco-conscious world.

8 Tips for Efficient Receipt Management

Digitizing your receipt management strategy is just the first step toward expense report success. To ensure you’re operating at maximum efficiency, consider the following tips.

1. Use Pluto App

The first step is to get Pluto and start managing your spending digitally. 

While you’re moving toward digital efficiency, your vendors aren’t required to follow. Keeping the proper tech on hand ensures you can digitize any paper receipts that come your way.

Pluto allows you to take a picture of the receipt, upload it to your expense and just like that the reconciliation process is done!

2. Save Your Receipts

While you can set up secure digital folders to store all your digital originals and copies - Pluto does that for you! 

Just take a picture of the receipt, upload it to the app and that is it.  

3. Ensure High-Quality Digital Format Uploads

There’s no point in uploading and saving documents if you can’t read them. 

Before tossing your physical copies, make sure you can clearly read the essential information on each receipt. (Such as the company name, date, purchased item(s), and amount.)

4. Categorize Submitted Expenses

Take some time to categorize your expenses (most businesses do this in chronological order). Pluto helps you with that, but just make sure to check the right category so the reporting stays in top notch condition. 

5. Set Up a Simple Expense Report Strategy

Expense reporting is the backbone of any business’ financials. For prompt, complete reporting and tracking, ensure that you design a straightforward strategy. 

Same-day submissions, fewer Excel sheets, and faster reimbursement protocols will improve efficiency and attitudes. Better yet, invest in a quality expense and receipt management software.

Or even better - start with Pluto, we have a free package. It will allow you to completely digitize and control your spending, while keeping your reporting in the best possible shape. 

6. Establish Accountability

A top-notch expense reporting strategy only works if people use it.

To ensure your protocols are followed, emphasize and encourage accountability. Keep all managers and supervisors up-to-date with company spending and card policies and remind them to disseminate that information appropriately. Follow up with employee expenditures as needed.

7. Run Regular Internal Audits

Regular expense report audits help businesses track receipts fraud, clear up discrepancies, and streamline inefficiencies. 

Take time each month or quarter to check for fictitious or overblown expenses or troubles with your expense reporting strategy. 

Pluto allows you to run real-time reports at any given moment for any period of time.

8. Switch to Virtual Corporate Cards

Virtual corporate cards make managing receipt tracking even easier. Not only can you digitize the entire process end-to-end, but corporate p cards give you greater control over your expenditures and tracking.

Sure, you can’t prevent vendors from handing you physical receipts. But you can greatly minimize instances of employees walking in with a big stack of thermal paper to scan in.

Pluto offers unlimited virtual cards which will book all your expenses right into the dashboard!

Key Takeaways

  • Proper receipt management is key to running a financially successful business.
  • While manual receipt management reconciles physical copies, it’s increasingly unnecessary in an increasingly digital world.
  • Digital receipt management simplifies the collection, reconciliation, and storage process.
  • Digital tracking also reduces fraud potential, time and financial waste, and increases employee satisfaction.
  • Digitizing your expense reports pairs nicely with digitizing your own payments with virtual corporate cards.

5
All
Updates
April 4, 2024

Mohammed Ridwan

PlutoCard is Now GetPluto: Your Unified Payable Solution

PlutoCard now becomes GetPluto — your new one-stop solution for all payables.  

What's New?

After much anticipation and hard work, we're excited to announce the migration from plutocard.io to getpluto.com, a step towards redefining corporate payments.

With getpluto.com, we are extending our vision beyond providing corporate cards. 

We understand the challenges that businesses face when handling their finances. It involves more than swiping a card and filing expenses. That's why we've developed a comprehensive suite of products and features to simplify everything from procurement to payables. 

So, whether you want to streamline purchase requests, integrate your ERP without impacting costs, or manage reimbursements — getpluto.com has you covered!

Beyond Cards: The All-In-One Platform

Here's a glimpse of what Pluto has to offer:

  1. Procure-to-pay: Streamline your procurement process from purchase requests to invoice matching, all in one place.
  2. Bill management: Centralize bill management and payments for faster approvals, better vendor relationships, and more accurate two/three-way matching.
  3. Accounting ERP integrations: Sync seamlessly with major ERPs like Xero, Zoho, QuickBooks, Dynamics, and Netsuite to close your books 10X faster.
  4. Petty cash management: Digitize cash-in-hand management to eliminate leaks without losing flexibility or visibility.
  5. T&E reimbursements: Simplify travel and expense reimbursements with unlimited budget-controlled corporate cards and custom approval workflows.
  6. Corporate cards: Get budget-controlled corporate cards with built-in compliance management — from receipt capture to policy enforcement. 

“We have been using Pluto for a few months now, and we literally have everything in one place.”

~ Lee Kersen Mascarenhas, Head of Operations at BloomingBox

From Our CoFounder — Mo Aziz

Pluto's Corporate Cards have been serving the largest businesses in UAE powered by a platform built for companies of all sizes: from small-scale SMEs to businesses with 1000s of employees.

But company spending does not happen just through Corporate Cards…

At Pluto, we believe CFO & Finance teams need a unified, comprehensive platform that solves all types of corporate spending problems end-to-end.

The new Pluto is our step towards this future where UAE businesses get a best-in-class platform, helping manage company spending across Cards, Reimbursements, Invoice Management, Procurement & more.

Join Us At getpluto.com

We're excited about the possibilities that getpluto.com brings. 

We understand the importance of this change and are here to support you at every step of the way, offering a more comprehensive platform to meet all your financial needs.

Sign up for a demo or create a free account at getpluto.com today and discover how Pluto simplifies payments for—finance teams, procurement teams, and employees.

Thank you for your continued support!

5
All
Spend Management
October 13, 2022

Leen Shami

How to Take Control of your Employee’s Fuel Reimbursements

Many companies require in-person meetings, site visits, or attending events. Whatever the business-related travel may be, fuel reimbursement comes into the picture.

What is Fuel Reimbursement?

In a nutshell, fuel reimbursement is when an employer reimburses you for the cost of fuel used for business purposes.

While other countries may consider this a travel expense or a mileage reimbursement, the UAE considers this a 'fuel reimbursement.'

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Why Did Reimbursing Travel Expenses Grow?

In a post-pandemic world, where many companies are going back to the norm of office work, it is common for travel reimbursement costs to increase.

The mileage reimbursement rate has risen with regular office hours, more in-person meetings, and less remote work. But that's not the only reason.

Due to the surge in fuel costs globally, it's no surprise that consumers are becoming more aware of their travel expenses.

The UAE alone has seen a significant spike of 74% in fuel prices and petrol prices over the last 7 months, indicating that reimbursing travel expenses grew.

Subsequently, UAE companies have seen a 38% increase in fuel reimbursements and travel reimbursement requests from their employees. Inflation alongside a post-pandemic world, fuel reimbursement expenses have become the most requested reimbursement category in the UAE.

A study by Bayzat has shown that fuel is among the most requested reimbursements category for UAE employees, with an increase of 18% in the average amount per reimbursement since January.

This indicates that companies and employees have spent more time managing and filing fuel reimbursement expenses. 

Unsurprisingly, the cost of average travel reimbursements has increased with the significant spike in fuel prices and petrol prices these past few months.

With Pluto's corporate cards, companies can wave goodbye to everyday fuel reimbursement expenses' pain points by issuing their employees fuel cards to keep track of their fuel expenses and travel reimbursement costs.

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Why Use Pluto Fuel Cards For Fuel Reimbursement?

There are many advantages to using Pluto fuel cards for business travel expenses:

Create unlimited fuel cards

Create and distribute as many virtual or physical fuel cards as needed for your employees, so you won't have to worry about travel expenses, mileage reimbursement requests, or having to reimburse employees.

Create fuel cards
Create Fuel Cards on Pluto's Platform

Set limits on fuel cards

Create fuel cards for employees with daily, weekly, or monthly spending limits to keep track of employees' fuel expenses.

Set Custom Limits on Fuel Cards

Track fuel expenses in real-time

Expense tracking in real-time
Real-time Transactional Data

It's essential to keep track of what is being spent and where. With Pluto, you can:

  • Get notified as soon as a fuel expense is made so you know who spends what, where, and when.
  • Keep track of average travel reimbursements' costs, travel expenses, and employee expenditure data to avoid going over budget on fuel expenses.

No more end-of-month expense reports on fuel!

Digitized receipt reconciliation

Whether your employees are using personal vehicles or company vehicles, they can simply make a transaction with their personal card, snap a picture of the receipt and upload it to the Pluto dashboard for fuel reimbursement.

Alternatively, UAE companies can issue their employees virtual or physical cards, and the receipt can be attached to the business expense by dragging and dropping it onto the Pluto dashboard.

No more searching through piles of paper receipts! 

Fill up your tank anywhere

Once you issue your UAE employees a virtual or physical fuel card, they can use it at any gas station in the UAE for business travel expenses.

While requested reimbursements for fuel expenses grew over five-fold over the past couple of years, there is a solution to make CFOs' and finance teams' lives easier; Pluto Card.

With Pluto, finance teams have an all-in-one integrated platform for fuel reimbursements, budget & spend control for business travel expenses, and fuel receipt reconciliation.

Fuel Reimbursement vs. Mileage Reimbursement

When looking for information about fuel reimbursement, another term that you may stumble on frequently is mileage reimbursement. While they are similar and sometimes interchangeable, they are not the same.

What is Mileage Reimbursement?

Mileage reimbursement refers to the practice of reimbursing employees for business-related travel expenses.

While it accounts for fuel, it also considers lease, vehicle depreciation, and other car-related expenses. This type of reimbursement is usually given per mile driven.

In some countries, mileage reimbursement refers to accounting rules and categories that help standardize expenses.

What is Fuel Reimbursement?

Fuel reimbursement, on the other hand, only covers the cost of fuel used for business travel. It doesn't take into consideration any other car-related expenses. This type of reimbursement is usually given based on receipts.

The difference between fuel reimbursement and mileage reimbursement is that mileage reimbursement takes into account all car-related expenses, while fuel reimbursement only covers the fuel cost.

How Does Fuel Reimbursement Work?

If you use your car for business purposes, you can be reimbursed for the fuel costs incurred. The reimbursement is usually calculated based on the number of kilometers traveled or miles driven.

However, to qualify for fuel reimbursement, you will need to keep accurate records of your travel expenses. This includes maintaining a logbook of your travels and keeping receipts for all fuel purchases.

To ensure that employees are reimbursed correctly, they need a receipt and an accurate logbook. Fuel and travel expenses can be included as costs, but you must show all travel logs if necessary.

What Counts as Business-Related Fuel Reimbursements?

Here are some examples of obvious and less obvious fuel expenses that you can get reimbursed for when you are an employee:

  • Traveling for a client meeting;
  • Driving to pick up anything on behalf of the company;
  • Driving to the airport to pick up a client or a colleague;
  • Going to another city for a business-related event;

Anything done to advance the business, big or small, is business related.

Is Commuting to Work a Business-Related Expense?

While some big corporations may reimburse you for commuting to and from work, typically, commuting is not considered a business expense.

What to Track For Fuel Reimbursement?

Keeping a gas log is one of the best ways to ensure employees are correctly reimbursed while companies have a clear overview of their travel expenses.

Last but not least, when you put fuel reimbursements into your profit and loss statement to apply them as costs (which you should), you must have a detailed log of travels - in case the tax authority wants a record.

Here is the main employee expenditure data that you should store in your fuel reimbursement logbook:

  • Date of each journey
  • Start time and end time of driving.
  • Purpose of the trip.
  • Kilometers driven.

If a company provides employees with company cars, this is all. But, if you're filing for fuel reimbursement while traveling with your personal vehicle, you will have to provide the following:

  • Brand of the car and the year it was made.
  • Average fuel consumption as per the car documentation.
  • Engine size or engine capacity.
  • Copy of car technical documentation.

Does an Employer Have to Pay For Fuel?

Most companies reimburse fuel expenses for employees who need to travel for business, but there might be some limitations. For example, a company may ask you to use its corporate Careem account for business travel.

Typically, if you incur the cost of fuel, your company will reimburse you as it is a cost tightly associated with the business.

Is Fuel Reimbursement Tax Deductible?

A massive shift for UAE companies will be the introduction of corporate taxes in 2023. With a corporate tax rate of 9%, UAE companies must keep track of all their spending. Fuel reimbursements fall under that category, as they can help reduce the amount of taxable income that a company has.

If you have a fuel reimbursement policy in place, it will help ensure that all of your employees are mindful of their spending on fuel and that they only claim back what they have spent.

Pluto allows UAE companies to issue unlimited fuel cards while centralizing the expense in one dashboard, so you can see in real-time how much is being spent and the number of tax-deductible costs your employees are making.