A giddy AOLer just emailed us a memo from CFO Artie Minson updating employees on AOL’s new Travel and Entertainment Policy.
The gist is: Forget all the onerous T&E reporting you used to have to do, just please spend AOL’s (AOL) money as wisely as you would spend your own.
Our employee source tells us:
Nice to see Tim actually making some substantial changes, should be good for morale and obviously for cost savings. The red tape on expense reports has been very thick. This along with the Media Lab sponsorship, the new NY engineering hub developing, the Brad Garlinghouse leadership/west coast role etc. I think are real, if early, positive moves.
Here’s the memo (minus what our source calls “the boring small print stuff.”):
Today, we are announcing exciting changes to AOL’s Travel and Entertainment Policy (“T&E Policy”) – ok maybe not exciting but finance people get excited easily. These changes are intended to address our process in three key areas:
1) Accelerate the time it takes to reimburse T&E (we figured you’d like this);
2) Empower and incent employees to get the best deals they can (I like this one); and
3) Reduce the reliance on the Accounting team to be the arbiter of what constitutes proper T&E (the Accounting team likes this one).
As we reviewed our T&E processes, a few themes emerged as to how we want our employees to think about T&E:
1) We want our employees to spend AOL’s cash as they would their own. We are all stakeholders in AOL’s success, and we should be conscious of spending AOL’s money in the same way that we are careful spending our own money.
2) We want to have a culture that assumes employees are doing the right thing rather than being in the business of auditing every single T&E expense.
Going forward our policy is simple: Expenses must be for appropriate business purposes; they must be of reasonable value, and they must be approved by your manager. Once approved by your manager, you will be paid as soon as practically possible.
We’ve eliminated the specific rules as another part of our culture shift, as we empower employees to do what’s right for AOL – including spending company money wisely.