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Travel Expense Management for a Small Business

Small businesses that don’t often send employees on business trips might not feel that a written corporate travel policy is necessary. Without one, however, you might run into problems that, even if they don’t cost you much money, can create ill will among staff. With a little planning, you can create a travel expense management policy that will keep everyone at your workplace in the loop and satisfied.

Travel Policies

急速PC28彩票Your travel policy should include a procedure for requesting travel and reimbursements, and steps for submitting a reimbursement request. This will eliminate any confusion as to whether or not travel was approved, what items are covered, and how and when the employee will be reimbursed. Include this in your employee manual, if you have one. If not, distribute the policy to employees and ask them to sign, date and return one copy to you.

Pre-Trip Approval

Create a form employees must fill out to request travel before they take a trip. The form should request information about the trip, including the dates of travel, purpose, benefit to the company and the expected expenses. The form should include an area for the company or a manager to approve the request. Let employees know where and how to submit trip approval requests and ensure they get a response in a timely fashion.

Acceptable Reimbursements

In your travel policy guidelines, delineate what types of expenses are reimbursable when employees travel. These might include accommodations, air or rail fares, meals, conference registrations, parking, tips and taxis. Specify whether employees who drive their own cars will be reimbursed for gas or mileage at the IRS rate. Specify how and when employees may entertain clients.

Expense Reports

Spell out how expenses must be reported for reimbursement. For example, don’t allow employees to use credit card statements rather than receipts. A hotel room bill will show if the employee ordered movies or room service, whereas a credit card statement will show only the total cost of the bill. Set a per diem for meals so employees know how much they can spend on food each day, which might allow you to forego collecting receipts, making it easier on employees to complete their reports.

Reimbursing

急速PC28彩票Let employees know when they will be reimbursed. Talk with your accounting department to determine if they would prefer to do expense reimbursements with payroll or separate those two check runs.

References

Photo Credits

  • Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images

About the Author

Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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