When it comes to business travel, TravelPerk is proven to help office and travel managers save money on flights and hotels while staying organized.
But while TravelPerk helps travel managers and employees get the most of their travel budgets, employees are still responsible for tracking their expenses in some way. Doing so regularly gives travel managers an accurate take on the financial health of the business while giving employees an accurate take on their personal budget while they’re on the road. It also ensures correct information when challenging erroneous bank statements, filing taxes, and complying with a state or government tax audit.
In the past, using pen and paper was the only way to keep tabs on expenses. Now, with a landscape of connected apps and services, it’s never been easier. Read on for some best practices to keeping better travel records. Discover the best travel and business expense reporting tools here.
Keep a business travel journal
If traveling for a long time — say, a week, for instance — then it’s a great idea to keep a business travel journal. In it goes every means of travel, lodging, meal, ground transportation, and other miscellaneous purchases. By documenting the amount spent, date, time, and purpose of the expense, you create non-financial confirmation for every expense incurred on a business trip. This works wonders to challenge a bank statement or clarify expenses during a tax audit, too.
While a physical notebook is a perfectly valid way to keep a travel journal, it can get lost, stolen or damaged, immediately rendering all the information it has useless. Instead, consider using the note taking and archiving software Evernote instead. With it, you’ll be able to keep all your notes organized, synced, and accessible across multiple devices and app platforms using the power of cloud technology, making it an extremely handy tool once the trip is over.
Make mileage tracking easier
Keeping track of mileage is an extremely important aspect of keeping business travel records, but it can be a hassle. It doesn’t need to be, though.
MileIQ is an [iOS](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/App_Store_(iOS) and Android app that works in the background to track and record all driving activities. The app uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to categorize personal and business mileage based on time, day, and other factors. While other apps on this list also track mileage, there’s no harm in having a dedicated app as primary or even as backup. The free version of the app allows users to track 40 rides per month, with a premium feature that allows for more.
Don’t throw your receipts in a shoebox
Instead, use Shoeboxed. This fun little app can track mileage, turn business cards into contacts, organize and archive email receipts, and capture physical receipts and file them for a reimbursement or deductible.
What really sets Shoeboxed apart is its Magic Envelope feature. Busy business travelers can stuff a pre-paid envelope with their receipts, business cards and other paper data and drop it in the mail. After a few days, all of that information will be digitally available for you to apply your next expense report — just like that.
Use the one-two combo of TravelPerk and Expensify
While expense-oriented apps like Shoeboxed, Concur Mobile, and BizXpenseTracker all offer a wide variety of methods to make expense tracking easier, none of them do as much or is as integrated with TravelPerk as Expensify. As the industry leader in the segment, Expensify’s suite of features takes the headache out of expense reports, especially when using TravelPerk’s business travel management software as the backbone to a company’s travel needs.
With TravelPerk, users can quickly create expense reports by sending flight and hotel charges directly to Expensify. When an employee is on the road, they simply snap a photo of a receipt to automatically add each charge and its relevant details to the current trip’s report. This unified report is then automatically sent to the Finance Team when ready and since everything is one place, it can be more quickly and easily processed — a win-win for everyone involved.
Alongside standard features like receipt and mileage capture, Expensify can also connect with bank and credit cards to automatically retrieve transactions that can be expensed. In addition, an eReceipt is automatically generated for any expense under $75, softening the frustration of misplacing or losing receipts. Another standout of Expensify is that it allows its users to email receipts to be later scanned and applied to a report.
With such a diverse array of features working together with TravelPerk’s unique Dynamic Budgeting Algorithm — and the team’s dedication towards more streamlined management of business travel — Expensify is a natural fit for any office or travel manager who wants to save money and be more organized. And for traveling employees, the combination of the two almost makes booking business travel and reporting expenses — dare we say — enjoyable.