Travel expenses are costs linked with traveling for business. If you frequently travel for work, it becomes important to know your responsibilities so that you can successfully claim expenses and avoid becoming confused or overwhelmed by loose paper receipts that you collected along the way.
If your allowance for travel shows up on your salary, you should be able to claim against this provided you have evidence in writing for the claim. Records that you keep depend mainly on whether the trip includes international or domestic travel and the duration of the trip.
Staying on top of business expenses for travel will make sure you do not pay for additional costs that you might have accrued on a corporate trip. Below are a few handy tips on the right way to manage your business travel expenses.
1. Make Sure You Keep All Your Receipts
If you have lost any receipts while traveling internationally on business, it can be an issue when you are back home in your own country. This could mean that you would need to pay out of your pocket for a work-related bill or a business lunch or dinner. In addition to keeping all your paper receipts, it is also wise to take photos using your phone of every receipt. You can also add any necessary details for each expense.
2. Stay Organized
Keeping track of every business-related travel cost while on a business trip might not be exciting or enjoyable, but if you stay organized, this will help you to save a lot of time later. This means ensuring that when you refer back to a meeting or a trip, you should be able to clarify any of the expenses quickly if your finance team requests any information.
It is also important not to mix personal and business funds as this might cause delays or confusion, making it more difficult to stay on track for each expense. While you are away, take note of every business-related expense every evening.
If you have the time, complete an expense form when you reach the airport or travel home while you can still remember all the details of the trip. From here, make sure all your expenses have been submitted on time. You should also check that each one has been paid for.
3. Become Familiar With The Rules
It is important that you fully understand the type of travel expense policy that your organization uses. For example, some organizations expect their employees to pay for travel expenses upfront, followed by claiming these expenses back, while other companies may provide cash advances. Some companies also provide their employees with a corporate expense card.
You also need to be aware of what you can and cannot claim for. Find out if there are limits on the amount you are allowed to spend on meals, and whether alcoholic drinks are included. There may also be rules around what mode of transport will be covered.
Many organizations can provide you with a copy of the expense policy that they use. It is worthwhile to print it out and refer to this document when you need to claim expenses that you spent while traveling on business.
4. Use Technology To Track Your Expenses
If you are traveling by road for a business trip, keeping track of every business-related travel expense becomes easier when you use an app on your mobile device. In today’s app-driven market, you can use several fantastic tools to track receipts and expenses on your mobile phone while you are on the go. Following are a few features that one should look for in a business travel expense tracking tool:-
-These app allows you to stay on track with business receipts and expenses by linking this app to either your personal or corporate credit card.
– It should allow you to view any transactions on the credit card, where you can add these to your expense reports.
– You should be able to capture all your receipts with a camera on your phone so that you don’t have to carry around all your paper receipts.
-You should be able to track and manage business travel as it allows you to book hotels, flights, cancel or change a reservation, and even check on your flight status.
-It should allow you to create more than one expense report at a time that you can then convert into PDF files.
When you are away on a business trip, you will probably find that most of your time is spent on traveling and attending meetings. This might mean that you find it stressful or difficult to stay on track of each business expense. When you use the tips mentioned in this guide, along with making use of expense trackers such as the one offered by TravelBank.com, the overall process of staying on top of these expenses will become much easier.
If this is the first time you will be traveling for business, make sure that you clarify what is expected of you. If you are expected to cover the trip’s expenses and then claim these expenses on your return, ensure that you have enough money to accommodate your trip. If you are using a company credit card, make sure you know what you are allowed to spend on the card.