How to Create a Robust Relocation Benefit

Posted by Ryne Inman on Dec 12, 2017 8:06:00 AM

Reimbursement policies have been a pillar of employee relocation programs for years. Over time they Expense Management Solutionsevolved, but rather than increase in efficiency, they typically became more time consuming, burdensome, and a hassle to relocating employees, relocation professionals, and payroll departments. Even as technology improved other burdensome processes, reimbursement procedures remained frustratingly manual. UrbanBound’s new expense management solution tackles this very obstacle.

Flexing Expense Management

Current best practices dictate that reimbursement works best as part of a Core/Flex policy, in which “flex” options are paired with a “core” policy that uses direct bill benefits to handle the bulk of an employee’s move. This arrangement allows the best of both worlds for both employers and employees. In a Core/Flex policy, the large portions of an employee’s move are administered via direct bill, where a third party, such as UrbanBound administers the payment for services, avoiding tax penalties, and giving employees a directly defined benefit.

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For instance, an employee’s household goods move, would be paid through UrbanBound, rather than as a dollar amount given directly to the employee. This makes up the “core” policy. The “flex” portions of a policy provide auxiliary support that may vary from employee-to-employee. This includes costs like additional home-finding trips, lease cancellation fees, or storage fees.

Other examples of reimbursed expenses in an ideal Core/Flex policy that in include:

  • Checked baggage fees

  • Meals en route to destination

  • Lease cancellation fees

Utilized in this type of policy, expected fees can be addressed through reimbursement. This approach removes a large degree of variability and in turn, the amount of work needed to approve or deny submitted expenses.

Combining Expense Reimbursement and Direct Bill with the UrbanBound Solution

UrbanBound’s expense management solution streamlines and simplifies this process. Using a direct bill core policy for major expenses, like household goods moves, through UrbanBound allows employees to get service from a network of vetted suppliers. Expense management acts as a fill-in for expenses that aren’t included in that core policy.

Your relocation team can craft a reimbursement policy based on the employee’s needs, and once their relocation has begun, employees can upload receipts directly to UrbanBound. Each upload will be added to an expense report, and is automatically audited against their policy. The administrators at your company are then alerted that an expense has been submitted. Your team can approve or deny each claim. From there, approved expenses can be tracked in UrbanBound’s reporting suite alongside direct bill expenses.

The simplicity and straightforwardness of UrbanBound’s reimbursement tools are a boon to both the employer and employee. Employers save time processing requests and manage less physical paperwork, while constraining spending to predetermined amounts automatically. Employees can more easily manage their receipts, and track the approval status of each transaction each step of the way.

Urbanbound’s expense management and reimbursement tools aim to support relocation programs with best practice solutions for relocation programs. Tackling a time-consuming, burdensome process with easy-to-use technology not only improves existing programs, but opens up relocation benefits to more companies.

Streamline employee relocation today. Request a demo!

Topics: HR, Relocation Management Software, Product Update

Relocation Technology Is the Answer for the Fast Growing Company

Posted by Ryne Inman on Mar 7, 2017 7:54:26 AM

relocation for tech companies

Whether a company is young or old, a sudden growth spurt can be a curse and a blessing. The added strain ofexpansion can be felt across every department and area, but possibly none other than HR feels the brunt of it.

Even if you’re lucky enough to work within a bulked-up HR department, the tax of a major new hire class is immense. Between the recruiting, hiring, and onboarding of a new squadron of employees, you’ll likely have to be accelerating your relocation program into overdrive.

A relocation tech solution is the key to making sure the mobility aspect of your staff growth doesn’t grind the entire process to a halt, or break the bank.

You are likely already using software solutions to recruit and hire new employees. This segment of HR was one of the first to make the digital leap. The classified ad section of the newspaper was one of the first casualties of the internet, and you’ll be hardpressed to find anyone itching to go back to the now old-fashioned way to apply and sift through applicants.

But that is a fairly easy process, and its real-world analogue translated well into a digital space. It wasn’t until very recently that technology got to the point where digitizing automating complex tasks became available to every company.

With relocation technology, not only are you able to automate and simplify the simple tasks that would normally eat up time, but also begin to streamline and minimize the amount of strain that complex instances place on you.

From the multi-departmental dance to disperse a lump sum to bulk-enrolling new hires into a relocation program, software solutions for relocation technology offer the flexibility and scaling needed for boom times.

relocation for tech companies

Topics: Relocation Management Software, SMB

Beyond Cost Calculating: How Relocation Technology Boosts Strategic Decision Making

Posted by Ryne Inman on Feb 21, 2017 8:22:53 AM

relocation technology

Technology solutions are intended to simplify processes and amplify results. Sometimes, a product does thisby automating a task or making it easier to complete them. Other times, a technology unlocks new potential, on top of completing a task.

Think of the difference between the two like you would a calculator and a spreadsheet. A basic calculator can save you inordinate amounts of time that would be spent doing math by hand or even in your head. A spreadsheet, on the other hand, allows you to create vast, complicated datasets that interact and compute on their own.

The key differentiator between the two? Data, and how you interact with it. Relocation isn’t just a list of values you add together on a calculator. Cost is of course a major factor, but the many ways that figures interact and shift creates the need for flexibility. Until tech entered the industry, it seemed that relocation would be locked in a rigid structure. That’s changing now, and relocation has unlocked programs so that they can craft policy using newly-available data.

The most important tech revolution of the past 5-10 years has been the ascension of data-driven decision making. With the mobile and internet advances finally settled as the status quo, the use of data generated by software has become just as powerful as the tech tools themselves. For relocation professionals, this means new areas of strategic decision making have emerged.

Trend Tracking

It is now more possible than ever for mobility professionals to identify and adapt to trends as they are happening. Obviously, having the agility to make course corrections will give you a strategic advantage over competitors. If you’re seeing a trend of employees going over their budgets, or having difficulty securing housing, you can readjust priorities and benefits to better cover the common needs of transferring employees.

It sounds very simple, but requires open, unbiased eyes, and sound, forward thinking to be able to execute. This is not possible in a traditional relocation program. Only through technology do these operational efficiencies emerge.


One blind spot for many departments is the time between an employee moves and when an invoice or reimbursement request is filed. Until that time, it’s unknown just how much of a budget was going to be spent. Combined with uneven invoicing schedules, payroll compliance, and all the other complexities of tax law, the actual amount spent took far too much time. With relocation technology, this changes. When employees book services through a software solution, you can see how much each one is spending, and even how far along in their process they are. You’ll be able to more accurately predict your upcoming expense on a department level.

Supplier Success

Even if you can correctly predict the amount of total spend for each employee, you still would prefer that they come in under budget. With a relocation tech product, you can be sure that employees are getting the best combination of value and service. Verified, trusted vendors not only ensure your transferees are getting fair prices, but also exemplary service.

relocation for tech companies

Topics: Relocation Management Software, February Blog

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