Framatome develops and builds nuclear power plants all over the world and therefore generates the majority of its sales in an international environment. Business trips lasting several months and long-term assignments at locations all over the world are the norm. Recruiting field staff is a challenge for Framatome, even more so than for other companies: Field staff at Framatome often face special challenges: They may be on the road for months at a time, and because they are deployed all over the world, they have to adapt to very different circumstances.
Framatome is therefore keen to make work on business trips and assignments more pleasant and thus to retain employees in the long term. Benefits in kind are an important part of this - and are correspondingly numerous and varied.
For example, Framatome reimburses its employees for gym fees at the workplace as well as additional meal expenses based on actual costs at the workplace and in excess of the statutory tax-free lump sums. For longer business trips, there is a travel budget, e.g. for family visits. If the family moves to the place of assignment, Framatome pays the children's school fees. Framatome also invests in the health of its employees, for example by paying for short stays. But even those who are not in the field enjoy benefits, such as a personal budget for celebrating a service anniversary.
As helpful, appreciative, and pleasant as these benefits are, accounting for them correctly for tax purposes as a non-cash benefit was time-consuming, complicated, and error-prone. This was because the costs for a four-figure number of business trips for several hundred employees were manually entered, reviewed, and accounted for by the HR and payroll departments. Compliance with the three-month rule for additional per diem expenses and the various statutory country allowances is complex.