Traveling for work is something that many of us will do at some point. While you are traveling for work it is especially important to keep track of all expenses so that you can account for your spending and receive proper reimbursement. Follow these simple guidelines to stay on top of your expenses while traveling for work:
- Create an email file folder for each trip. You’ll have a designated place holder for confirmation emails for your airline, hotel, car rental and MapQuest information you’ll need for appointments. It will be handy to refer to throughout your trip as well as when it comes time to turn in your expense report.
- Create a travel file to use while traveling for work. This can be as simple as a manila file folder, pocket folder or 5 x 7” envelope. Label it with the date, place and purpose of trip. I.E. June 4-9 Boston Sales Conference
- Keep your travel file in your briefcase, computer case or other traveling bag. Get in the habit of putting it in the same pocket every time you are traveling for work. This way you’ll always know where it is.
- At the end of the day, empty your pockets, briefcase, wallet and/or purse of all receipts. Make a note on each receipt that explains what it is for. Sometimes a receipt is pretty nebulous so include as many details as possible. These notes will only take a few minutes and will serve as a visual reminder weeks later when you’re trying to remember details for your expense report.
- Track everything. Restaurants, hotels and airfare are the easy ones. While traveling for work you also incur expenses from places like parking garages, coffee shops and taxis. Be sure to make note on your travel file for non-receipt items such as tips.
- Track your car miles. When traveling for work with your own vehicle, you may qualify for reimbursement. The easiest way to track your miles is to keep a mileage log in the door/console of your vehicle. You can purchase an official log book from your local office supply store or you can keep a pad specifically designated for this purpose in your car. Be sure to include the date, place traveled to, purpose of the meeting and total round trip mileage.
These tips are simple but provide a great method for tracking expenses while traveling for work.
By: Audrey Thomas