6 tips for tracking expenses while traveling
By: Sam M
For most employees, travelling is part of the job. When work travel occurs, though, certain organisational steps need to be taken by the employee. More specifically, it is important that the individual maintains proper records and tracks the amount of money they spend. A comprehensive expense report allows the individuals company to properly reimburse them after their trip. The following six tips will help your employees organise and track their expenses while travelling.
Documents for Each Trip
To ensure that your employees keep their expenses organised, encourage them to create an e-mail folder and Microsoft Excel document for each trip. That way, they will have a particular location to store digital receipts from airlines, car rentals, and hotels. An e-mail folder is also a great place to keep helpful links and appointment information.
The Microsoft Excel document will come in handy for both tracking and managing out-of-pocket expenses that will later be billed to the company.
Encouraging employees to maintain physical copies of receipts, tickets, and bookings makes it easier to reimburse them later on. To keep these paper documents organised, request that individuals who travel maintain a travel file.
An example of a travel file is a manila folder or a large envelope. Have employees keep this folder in their briefcase or computer bag to allow for easy access. At the completion of each day, they can store the day’s notes and receipts in this folder. Doing this on a daily basis will make tabulating an expense report an easier, more efficient process.
An expense report is a worthless document if employees fail to maintain proper records. Make sure employees track every expense from their trip – airfare, food and beverages, lodging, taxi fees, parking garage fees, dry cleaning, and tips – are all items people travelling for work should track for their expense report.
Similarly, most companies will reimburse employees for the miles they drive while on the job. If your company fits this description, ask employees to track car mileage in an official log book that they can submit after the completion of their trip.
Filling out an expense report weeks after a business trip is problematic because it is difficult to remember the context and circumstances under which money was spent. Minimise this issue by requesting that employees take notes or add reminders to their receipts, explaining the details of their purchase.