Travel is often an essential part of an organization's growth and success. Do your duties include overseeing travel expenses, one of your company's most significant overheads? If so, you know that effectively managing cash flow relating to company expenses is critical. Controlling and maintaining a business travel expenses list while providing flexibility requires balance, with an eye toward colleague and client satisfaction. You can simplify travel expenses management by automating manual processes while gaining insight and achieving transparency.
Regardless of company size, having a company expense policy is essential if you have employees who incur travel expenses. Business travel refers to when a worker must travel off-site to fulfill job duties. Organizations pay for the costs associated with travel in several different ways.
If your employees pay for expenses upfront, they likely track costs through an expense reimbursement form. Your company travel policy may require receipts and justification for various expenses.
Some organizations give their employees a daily allowance for expenses, and it's up to the traveler to use that allotted amount responsibly. In many cases, the company pays transportation and lodging costs directly, while the per diem amount covers gas, meals, and incidental expenses.
Corporate Credit Cards
If you have employees who travel frequently, a company credit card can help efficiently manage and track expenses. They are convenient for your team as they don't have to pay for everything out-of-pocket and fill out an expense report for reimbursement. They may also save you time and the hassle of dealing with additional paperwork.
Organizations send employees to remote locations for a variety of reasons:
However, travel expenses for work may also fall into various other categories.
Transportation & Accommodations
Everyday transportation-related items that companies often track on a business travel expenses list include:
Lodging expenses for hotels, Airbnb, and other accommodations are typically covered for long-term and multi-day business trips. The company may also cover laundry or dry cleaning costs when employees travel.
You may break out client dinners, business meals during meetings and entertainment, tracking the costs under a "Meals & Entertainment" category. Incidental expenses, such as tips, may have their line item covered per diem.
Continuing Education & Tradeshows
Expanding skills and learning about new products can help a business face market changes and challenges. Expenses covered in this category might include:
While many costs are covered when employees are off-site, there are some exceptions:
You can minimize potential misunderstandings by reviewing your business travel expense policy. Make sure it clearly defines what is not covered by the company.
Whether you make everyone responsible for their detailed expense reports or impose standards through a policy, tracking and controlling costs is complex and time-consuming. If you still rely on legacy paper forms, spreadsheets, and emails to handle expense management processes, moving to an automated expense management solution can save you time and money.
Automating the expense reporting process is also accompanied by unexpected benefits. Most of the time, companies that make the switch don’t realize that some products that offer expense reporting also solve some of the most common complexities that come with expense reporting. These include allocating expenses to specific projects, expense audit efficiency, company policy enforcement, localization of expense reporting, and more.
Expense tracking software that's easy to use and flexible across devices can give you the tools you need to submit, track and process travel expenses quickly. Industry software these days has gone so far as to offer Easily view critical reporting information and analytics that let you dig into the details and see how your employees utilize their travel budget.