How to Keep Your Business Expenses in Check While Travelling
No one likes to blow the budget in their private life, but doing so in a work setting can be even more stressful. Many professionals who travel for work are constantly trying to balance their expenses when they are on the road or in the sky, with plans changing and a lack of planning really making an impact. If you want a straightforward way to keep your business expenses in check while travelling, use some of these tips to create better processes.
Business Credit Cards
It cannot be overstated how convenient a business credit card is. You have the security of knowing that you have money for any and all circumstances, and you can balance the expenses methodically when you return home from travel. The alternative for some corporate travellers is to use their own money and then start the long paperwork process to get that money back from the company. This can apply undue pressure on your personal finances, and it is far messier than simply issuing credit cards to your trusted staff. Simply keep all the receipts and submit them to your office when you return so you can start planning the next work trip.
Pay In Advance
Where possible, pay in advance so that you have fewer outstanding expenses when you begin travelling. Hotels, transport to the airport, set menus and many other things can be paid ahead of time and give you a better sense of what your projected expenses are and what you can expect to pay when you get there. Having these things booked and ready to go also serves as a great planning tool, booking your trip with services and events that are paid for and require you to simply turn up. Whether you are planning your business travel or an administrative person is – it’s easier for everyone to get things paid early.
Do Your Research
There will never be a time when you over-prepare for a trip, because the better the research the better your business trip is going to be. You want to be aware of where the best places to stay are, what sort of public transport is available, what the business customs are in that region, the price of your meals… the list goes on. It might seem like a lot of work, but it means you can really relax when you are away with the confidence that you have considered everything. If you are new to business travel this is going to seriously help, and if you are a seasoned traveller this additional research can make the boring bits feel like autopilot as you know what’s coming next.
Use An Expense Tracker
If the above points still don’t have you feeling confident, then you might see some value in buying an expense tracking app and logging your activity on the go. This is different from a budget tracking system so don’t try and purpose-fit your personal budget for a business expense tracker. Before you get too engrossed in this process, ask your work team if there is one that they already use or one that integrates with your finance system. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to! Having a system and program in place to support your decisions and track your business expenses might also take away any anxiety you have about travelling on your work’s dime.
Business travel is a lot of fun so don’t let the admin tie you down and keep you from staying focused on the job at hand when you are travelling. You might find that one, some or all of these tips work for you so be sure to put them into practice on your next trip!