Sunday, November 3, 2013
How to Fit Travel and Expense Into Your Business Budget
Business travel is a necessary expense for most people. When you think of travel and expense for business, you probably think of flying off to another state, being put up in a hotel and attending a conference or two. But business travel can also include just heading to the next town over to meet with a client. All of these things cost money and you need to know how to deal with travel expense reports, expense tracking, and budgeting for these needs.First you need to put aside a reasonable estimate each year from your business' budget. If it's local travel that you are really worried about, it'll be easier to do this. You'll want to include gas prices, car rental (unless your company has its own car) and parking costs. You'll also want to have an idea of how many times a year these trips are made. Do you drive weekly to meet with a certain client, or is it a more varied month by month basis?When it comes to long distance travel, business expenses can be anything from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars. It depends on where flights are to, the kind of hotels your employee is staying in, any additional transportation costs from the hotel to wherever they need to be, and other small costs like a seat for a convention.Expense management software is an easy way to keep track of these trips. You can put in all the information of the trip and have it calculate the costs for you, as well as keep track of any extra spending that the employee may have done. Your entire year's expenses can be recorded so that when it comes to filing taxes or just dealing with overall budget, you have every single trip on file ready to be accessed.If you are unsure of whether you can afford a trip ahead of time, plug it into expense management software long before you book. You'll get an idea of the costs and whether or not it's a feasible investment. The most important thing is that you never book without knowing you have the funds to back it up. Don't pull from other business finances if you don't have to. You have to weigh what is more important to your company.When it comes to business travel and expense, it can be daunting. But if you keep on top of figures and set aside a good amount of money, you won't be in the red at the end of the year.