One of the most challenging tasks for employees and business owners is tracking travel expenses.
It can be tedious for employees to keep track of every receipt during their trip. Some might even charge personal expenses to the company. Unfortunately, this results in inaccurate or fraudulent reporting, costing you more in the long run.
The solution is to streamline travel expense tracking with an app.
This ensures that all correct and authorized expenses are logged. Employees get the right reimbursement, while business owners don’t need to overpay.
This guide will discuss travel expense tracker apps, their importance, and how to use them.
A travel expense tracker is an app that allows employees to log all of their expenditures during official company trips easily. They do this by scanning each receipt with their smartphone, automatically adding that expense to their account.
Apps are a great replacement for the outdated, time-consuming, and error-prone method of keeping physical receipts and manually entering them into a computer.
Expense trackers are vital for employees who are always on the field, such as salespeople. In these cases, apps can streamline daily expense reports when they return to the office. They’re also vital for employees that go on one-time company trips like seminars and conventions.
The traditional way of tracking travel expenses is to write them down in a physical notebook or the note app on your phone. However, this can be incredibly tedious and error-prone.
A better approach is to use a reliable business travel expense app. Here’s why.
One of the primary reasons why most expense reports are inaccurate is that the person didn’t get to log everything. Maybe they forgot to do it or lost a receipt; hence they couldn’t jot that down.
But with an app, you can log an expense as soon as you get it. Thus, there’s a lesser chance of missing out on certain receipts. You no longer need to hold on to the receipts and enter them in bulk once you get home from your trip.
Most travel expense tracker apps also allow you to scan the receipts, so there’s no need to enter them manually. Aside from the convenience, they also help eliminate human error and fraud during data entry.
The traditional method of tracking your travel expenses is keeping receipts for all your purchases. And it’s a reasonable approach, but only if you do it right.
Unfortunately, keeping receipts is tedious and time-consuming. It also takes away from the more important tasks your employees need to do on your business trip.
Also, the method isn’t foolproof. If you lose or damage your receipts, it’s often hard to remember or backtrack the expenses you incurred.
But with a trip expense tracker app, you simply scan the receipt safely to your smartphone. Most apps automatically back up the data on the cloud, so your digital receipts are safe even if you lose your device.
When employees are on a trip, they often forget travel policies. They might make an unauthorized expense, only to find out that they can’t reimburse it later. This can create some confusion and resentment.
But with a trip expense app, you can incorporate your travel rules into the system. That way, your employees can get flagged for non-compliant expenses before they make them.
The best travel expense tracker app will allow you to submit your expense data to your organization’s internal accounting system for faster recording.
This is also useful if you use your company credit card or corporate funds during the trip. Your app can automatically reconcile your expense data with the transactions on the company account, therefore eliminating the need for manual checking or reports.
Ultimately, using an app for travel expenses can speed up the process for everyone. Employees can receive their reimbursements much more rapidly, while managers don’t need to go through every report manually.
This frees up considerable time so you and your employees can focus on more productive tasks.
A travel expense tracker app works like any other budget tracking software, except for one key difference – you can tie your expenses to a specific trip.
For instance, the Trail Wallet app enables you to categorize a trip date to every expense you enter. With some apps, like TrabeePocket, you can also flag certain expenses as prepaid (such as plane tickets and accommodation that you settle before your trip).
Adding expenses is easy. Many apps support a scanning feature, where you take a photo of your receipt, and the amount will be automatically added to your expense account. You can also add notes and photos on each expense for further explanation.
Employees can also view your expenses so far through graphs and charts. It tells them if they’re about to go over budget, so they’ll know how much more you can spend. Some apps even connect to your system remotely so that you can view an employee’s expenses in real-time.
However, expense-tracking apps do have their limitations. Certain travel expenses, like mileage costs, are challenging to measure because you consume them “as you go.” It’s especially tricky if your employees mix personal with business errands.
Unfortunately, this opens you up to inaccurate or, worse, fraudulent expense reporting.
That’s where MileIQ comes in.
Our app automatically tracks the mileage of your business drives in the background. You can easily switch between “business” and “personal” before each trip, so you can easily segregate them later.
Simply put, it’s the best mileage solution for your team.
Best of all, you can try it for free! Head to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and download the MileIQ business mileage tracking app today.