Whether you still use paper expense forms or you’ve moved on to software programs, it’s a good idea to avoid wasting too much space on expense entries you don’t need and to expand on entries that need to be specific because of how you’re treating them or because they might overlap between two categories. Here are a few examples of what different industries and trip types might need on their forms:
1. Freight Companies
Freight companies will usually cover the vehicular costs of travel as well as any motel stays and roadside meals, but because they send out so many drivers on so many trips, it’s important for them to break down exactly what travel costs came from where. Diesel fuel costs are obvious enough, but they’ll also want to know about service visits so they won’t have to repeat anything in their own garage. They also prefer to keep on top of toll road expenses since a longer route might turn out to be cheaper.
2. Travelling Salespeople
The days of door-to-door sales are long since over, but small companies on the lookout for local and national clients often need to send representatives around the country and beyond. For these trips, the transportation section on the expense forms can be simplified down to a single entry, although the company may want to track fuel costs separately depending on how tax laws apply. On the other hand, it can be useful to expand the food section for different meals, since taking a client out for a nice dinner could add to the entertainment budget instead.
3. Convention Goers
Sending someone to a convention makes a few costs easy, since the company can buy the plane or bus tickets and reserve a room well ahead of time and so the employee won’t have to do much more than confirm these costs on the expense forms. Still, there may be other related costs like a rental car or taxis and food ordered through room service, so it’s important to have separate entries for the known and unknown costs.
A quick online search will turn up dozens of different expense forms, and each one of them is useful for different companies with different needs. Between these online templates and a customizable software program, you should be able to create exactly the forms you need.