So here’s the good news: your employer has decided to send you to Europe to speak with the corporation’s branch manager for a status update and help negotiate a contract with a promising startup. You’re fully qualified to handle these jobs, and the two meetings are scheduled days apart, giving you plenty of time to explore old European streets and visit every tourist attraction along the way. On top of that, the company will pay for your plane tickets, hotel rooms, food, and entertainment.
But now here’s the bad news: every time you buy something, you need to get a receipt. At the end of the day, you need to total up all your receipts on an expense report, explain why you put them on the report, staple them all together, and then send the whole thing back home through international mail. Then, assuming one of your daily packets gets home before you do, you can expect a company accountant to call you up and grill you on the choices you made days ago and probably can’t remember clearly since the only record of it is on the wrong side of the Atlantic.
Expense reports are the least enjoyable part of business trips, with a solid lead over the next highest complaint: “Management needs to explain its travel policy more clearly.” That’s why expense report automation is high on every corporate traveler’s wish list. If something can add more expense report automation and make the whole process easier and faster, it’s something worth doing.
Fortunately, mobile devices and internet technology have made some powerful strides in recent years, which means the expense report process can be very streamlined if you invest in expense report automation technology. With a mobile app, you can upload your receipt information immediately, and you can use your camera phone to take a picture and attach it to the report. At the other end, the person responsible for the expense account can reply immediately with a question or a stamp of approval, leaving both sides with one fewer headache.
Few people would ever have fun itemizing a European business trip step-by-step, but that’s what you need to do if you want the money you spent back or you don’t want to end up in hot water with the company accounting department. Thankfully, expense report automation can cut down the time everyone has to spend on listing out the expenses, double-checking them, and archiving them for later, leaving you with more time to enjoy your destination.