It wasn’t long ago that the phrase “there’s an app for that” was a joke. It’s not a joke these days, or at least it’s not as funny, and there’s a simple reason for that: it’s become a fact of life. There’s an app for everything at this point, and that includes business trip expenses.
The ability to go mobile with an expense app is a very useful leap forward in technology. It means that employees can take their expense sheet with them wherever they go and update it in real time as they pay their bills, buy food, spend time on entertainment, and otherwise spend the company’s money. It means that they can take photos of the receipts and bills they gather, attach them to the digital document, and upload them directly to the home office.
Of course, having this convenience doesn’t guarantee that the employee will actually use it like that, and you may want the employee to keep track of the receipts so you can use them as paper backups, and in any event your accountant or HR manager probably won’t update the books in real time. However, the right expense app can slot into a bigger accounting software suite and automate these updates, leaving the accountant to check the math and the numbers on the receipts whenever he or she wants to.
An expense app can make life easier for the home office in other ways, too. It can keep track of all the expense reports filed by every employee over the years and then sort them by date, cost, employee, destination, or any other search term you might need. A function like that makes it easy to track trends, see who’s spending more than they should, and see which cities and locations cost more and need a bigger budget or a smaller presence.
The right expense app can make life easier for the employee, the employer, and everyone else who has to worry about a business trip budget. A phone is easier to carry around than a laptop and can go more places, the touch-screen interface makes it simple enough to use, and the easy internet access means the accounting office can update the budget right away. So as far as business trip accounting goes, yes, there is an app for that.