Although small businesses usually do not have the big budgets of their larger counterparts, they still have to deal with similar expenses and manage their finances in much the same way. One aspect that many developing companies have to include in their operations is travel, as employees are asked to visit different markets, whether it's for expansion or connecting with new clients and customers. Of course, these traveling staff members incur costs when going elsewhere, mostly in the form of hotels, food and entertainment, as well as airfare or gas. When workers return, they must submit their expenses to their businesses, and processing of these figures can be a time-consuming process. To help ease the tracking of travel-related fees, companies can use expense reporting software to effectively manage all aspects and ensure numbers are accurate. In addition, with the technology, firms are assured that they are following all expense tracking compliance regulations.
Outdated, manual processes take up too much time
CMO.com reports that travel and entertainment (T&E) expenses can take up between 8 percent and 12 percent of firms' total budgets, according to research by the Aberdeen Group. This number is even more significant for smaller companies, as they are not able to expend large amounts of funds, in contrast to bigger businesses. While many of these costs are necessary for traveling, there are some that can be cut back, and the source suggests that firms try and gain more control over fees that do not need to be spent when visiting different locations.
The processes needed to carry out effective expense management can take up vast amounts of time, as there are many receipts to review and numbers to track to ensure accuracy. This becomes even more complicated if businesses do this manually and rely on outdated methods, the source notes.
"T&E management is generally viewed as a hassle, both for employees collecting receipts, filling out expense forms and trying to get reimbursed, and for accounting departments attempting to gain visibility into how much is being spent each month so it can close the business's books," CMO.com writes.
Business-related travel increasing
To help ease the various processes required to effectively track travel costs, companies can use expense reporting software. These platforms streamline operations and ensure all figures and finances are accurate. This will be especially beneficial this year, as The Salt Lake Tribune reports that research from Travel Leaders Group found 80 percent of businesses will increase their traveling in 2013.