Modern expense report software makes it easy to file trip expenses and either compensate the traveler or mark off the budget (depending on how your company handles its money). However, there’s more to this software than just recording the expenses and listing them all out. You can also analyze how the numbers change over time, in different locations, and with different employees, and this information is very valuable when it comes to managing expenses.
Travel expenses come with a tax deduction in most nations, but what’s better than a tax deduction is not spending the money in the first place. That’s what makes managing expenses important, and it’s why analytics can help.
For instance, if all you read are daily or weekly expense reports from two salespeople at the same pay grade, and if one of them always spends more money on everything than the other, then you might think that person is bad at spending money, or at least bad at spending the company’s money. However, if you compare the areas the two salespeople drive through with how much they spend, you might discover that the more expensive employee is heading through a more expensive part of the nation.
Another aspect of managing expenses is setting the budget for business trips. The tax deduction applies to “a reasonable amount in the circumstances,” which is very open to interpretation, but one good way you can set a “reasonable” budget is by analyzing how much it cost your employees to visit a place in the past. You can then make it clear to future travelers that any costs that go above this budget are their responsibility.
The best way to handle managing expenses is by analyzing the company’s older business trips for trends and working to fix anything you see that leads to higher costs. And while doing this analysis would take a lot of time and effort with paper copies and even with a spreadsheet program, a good travel expense program has the tools and the software you need to create the right diagrams and graphs that will let you see how your employees are spending the company’s money.