Reporting expenses can be a real pain. Employees need to keep track of every last thing they pay for on a business trip, keep all the receipts, and add everything up together at the end of what are often long, exhausting days of talking and travelling. HR managers and budget accountants aren’t much better off, since they need to read a bunch of poorly scanned or photographed receipts to double-check every employee’s math and follow up every last discrepancy to keep the books in order.
However, all that annoying busywork is definitely worth the effort it takes to get the details right. If nothing else, companies live and die on the precision of their budgets, so it’s important to track every bottom dollar no matter who spends it or on what. A personal budget can afford to have some flexibility in between buying the things you want, paying for the things you need, and preparing for old age, but for a business, every dollar an employee wastes on a business trip is a dollar you have to pull out of important projects and company reinvestment.
It’s not all about the company, either. Employees can benefit from reporting expenses accurately when the time comes to adjust the budget for business trips. After all, business trips tend to be particularly vulnerable to inflation and changing prices, so if employees have been reporting expenses accurately from the very beginning, they will definitely need their travel budget to expand over time. If it doesn’t, they’ll eventually have to start covering some of the expenses themselves, and if that gets too bad the company may even get into legal hot water.
That’s why it’s so helpful to have good expense reporting software, software that takes advantage of our growing access to powerful handheld smartphones and our ability to send and receive information from practically any point on the globe. With the right software package, employees can record their expenses in a snap and send the information to the main office every evening, complete with photos of every bill and receipt. While this doesn’t make reporting expenses any less boring, it does make it easier and faster, making it more likely that employees will put in the effort it takes to do it as accurately as possible.