Reporting travel expenses is never the most exciting part of a business trip, but it can become a real chore once you leave your country of origin. Converting currency is simple enough, but relative values tend to fluctuate from one day to another and you’ll need to convert what’s left back once you return home. In between, you may wind up gaining or losing money for no other reason than the changing exchange rate.
So how are you supposed to track travel expenses in foreign countries? Should you do everything in foreign currency and convert it based on the daily exchange rate? Should you base your costs on what the exchange rate was when you converted your currency and just accept any losses you experience when you switch back? And what about complicating factors like the sales tax refund Canada offers to foreign tourists and convention goers?
Fortunately, modern technology makes a lot of these questions much easier and more straightforward. The right travel expense software can convert foreign expenses accurately and on the fly by keeping track of the exchange rate and the date a business traveler pays for goods and services, and it can even keep track of relevant laws about discounts and tax rebates offered to foreign visitors. Advanced travel expense software can even convert between two foreign currencies, which is handy for European business trips that may (for instance) pass through Germany, the UK, and Switzerland.
If this travel expense software comes as a smartphone or tablet app, employees can even log their food and lodging expenses on the spot. Even the phone’s built-in camera can come in handy by taking pictures of the receipts and bills to attach and send back to the home office, with no time lost on waiting until the end of the trip. That makes it much easier for the accounting and HR departments back at the home office to balance their books, especially if the traveling employee is off in another time zone.
Accurate accounting in the Information Age is much easier than before thanks to the comprehensive software and friendly user interfaces that come with modern accounting software. Even foreign currency expenses can be easy to track when you use advanced travel expense software, plus it can make it easy to integrate travelling costs into a business budget when it’s part of an accounting software suite.