It’s common knowledge that driving a successful business forward involves often costly travel expenses. Client meetings, corporate functions, international conferences, and the securing of new contracts all entail business travel and the inevitable costs that ensue – just one client meeting could comprise flights, taxi journeys, and overnight accommodation at the very least.
So is your travel expenditure worth it? And how can you record, maintain and review your travel overheads in the most cost and time-effective way?
Our 7-step guide highlights how to better manage your travel expenses, and ensure that every travel arrangement made within your company is one that benefits your business:
1) Have a clear travel policy in place.
This is where so many businesses slip up. To manage your travel costs, and be able to effectively forecast what they will be, you need clarity on what employees can and can’t claim on the company. With a clear policy confusion is reduced, employees know where they stand, and you are less likely to be hit by unexpected outlays.
2) Encourage regular recording of expenses.
Be clear on deadlines for claims, and encourage all staff to keep a daily and weekly record of any travel expenses incurred. Visibility is paramount with accounts, so foster a working environment where individuals keep track of their own expenses (and importantly, file them on time) to save on time and money.
3) Ensure consistent recording using clear categorisation.
Break down each claim into clear categories so there is no confusion when it comes to managing your expenses. Essentially, this recording needs to be consistent from employee to employee, and across all departments.
4) Cut the right costs.
Look for value rather than cheap deals. Finding the cheapest flight might entice but if your employee misses check-in, unexpected cancellation fees or a last-minute flight suddenly make it a very expensive option. Likewise, booking a poor-quality, remote or basic hotel room can provoke a lack of motivation and unwillingness from staff, and lead to low productivity – can you guarantee access to Wi-Fi? Managing your travel expenses well, doesn’t necessarily mean hunting out the cheapest deal.
5) Take control of where your expenses are going.
While it’s not always possible, you can take some control over costs by encouraging employees to book in advance and use a preferred suppliers list. This can include negotiated rates and added benefits to appeal to staff while also helping to reduce, manage and forecast your travel costs.
6) Empower your employees to take control of their spending.
Putting decision-making in your employees’ hands can inadvertently reduce overspending, especially when combined with proactive strategies such as green initiatives and tracking their own carbon footprint.
7) Have your expenses managed for you.
Overseeing your business travel expenses can be time-consuming, complicated and often stressful. Look for an accountancy firm that you can trust in and rely upon – they should understand your business on an individual basis to provide policy compliance in the most cost-effective way.
If you’re looking for assistance with managing your company travel expenses it always pays to seek advice from specialists – get in touch with our friendly team today for more help and information.
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