Reporting that all expenses have been properly classified and that all of them have been reported is part of the process getting the books ready. Tracking all the expenses associated with businesses that involves travel for multiple people, can prove challenging. You can find ways to successfully track and manage all the expenses related to travel and running your business when you work with your accounting firm. Today, we at Mark Dicus & Company would like to share the common challenges of travel and expense management.
Growing Travel Costs
There may be a specific line item for travel costs when your consulting accounting team helps you to set your budget. From hotels to flight, current research indicates that these travel costs are on the rise worldwide, however. Travel managers still need to meet budget expectations and cost reduction targets despite the rising costs. Unfortunately, many businesses are going over their travel processes to ensure that their process compliments finding the best travel pricing.
Travel Booking Penalties
Generally, you will discover many times your business paid late booking or change fees as you look at travel expenses. There need to be rules put in place to help determine whether the extra costs are justified while you want to be flexible to a degree, especially if circumstances change. Difficulties with balancing the travel needs of a company against the needs of travelers to be flexible can be a big challenge. Whenever possible to reduce fees and to lock in itineraries as early as possible to avoid fees and penalties for changing flights or hotel reservations, make it a point to encourage early booking.
Employee Expense Reimbursement Timeline
Relating to reimbursement, many new challenges arise. Employees may need to include significant amounts of money out of pocket as part of their travel, and then include it in their travel report. Afterwards, they wait on the reimbursement. There is also miscommunication that can further contribute to these delays when there is missing information from employees. For example, an employee might think everything is fine and are waiting for approval and a check to be cut, as an approver may be waiting for additional information from an employee. Simply since employees are alerted about missing information and approvers know exactly what is missing and can also be reminded to circle back and complete approvals, using an automated expense management tool can be a way to reduce that type of delay.
Errors in Manual Data Entry
Particularly if everything is being maintained manually and you have multiple travel expense reports to deal with, the truth is that errors increase when numbers need to be entered into a spreadsheet. Another outdated form of tracking expense is collecting receipts. To help you to manage the receipts, set with your consulting accounting firm with various programs in addition to collecting the necessary information for your financials and tracking your travel expenses.