Let’s admit it: we’re all guilty of mixing business and pleasure. Really, who wouldn't like to have some personal time before and after a business trip? That’s why business trips can be scheduled to give you some free time as well.
Let’s admit it: we’re all guilty of mixing business and pleasure. Really, who wouldn't like to have some personal time before and after a business trip? That’s why business trips can be scheduled to give you some free time as well. Four-day trade shows and conferences make it easy to extend the trip for another weekday and on into the weekend. In fact, exploring a new or interesting city is one of the things people like the most about business travel! How does this reflect on business in general? Well, the benefits from a “leisure-added” trip far outweigh the negatives. The chance for a bit of adventure is a great motivator for your employees. Who could resist a business trip to New York, Las Vegas, or Miami, with the incentive of an extra day or two to explore the city? Extending the duration of the trip may actually make it even cheaper for the company, as many airlines offer reduced rates for a weeklong trip. When employees know that they’ll have that extra time for themselves, they may be better able to concentrate on their jobs and leave the fun stuff for their free days. And if it becomes necessary, your employees can use that extra time to finish up outstanding business or even meet with more clients. But perhaps you are instead worried about the adverse effects from allowing your employee to take that added leisure time, regardless of it being on the company dime or not. Are you concerned that your employees may be busy thinking about the show they have tickets to, the museum they want to take in, or the restaurant they miraculously snagged a reservation for? This potential for distraction can easily be multiplied if your business travellers bring their loved ones with them. Or maybe your biggest concern is sorting out any business-related costs such as hotel, meals, and transportation from personal expenses at the end of the trip. It’s quite simple to imagine how difficult it could become to control expense spending during a trip of this nature. Was that dinner a romantic night out or was it a business meal with a potential client? It takes extra time to sort out business and personal expenses, and all of the receipts and credit card transactions that accompany them. That’s why it’s important to have clearly defined spending control and the ability to track and sort out any expenses incurred. Here are a few suggestions to better regulate this kind of mixed trip: 1. Require employees to record the dates of any expenses so that spending from the ‘extra’ day will not be charged to the company. 2. Define unacceptable expenses such as alcohol, apparel, or admissions to attractions. This can be a part of your corporate spending policy. 3. Encourage your employees to use a corporate credit card for business-related expenses and to pay out-of-pocket for all personal transactions. 4. Require a receipt for each expense item. It’s up to you whether to encourage or restrict the inclusion of leisure time in business-trip planning. If you do encourage it, just keep in mind the steps that you can take to make it a win-win situation for both your company and your employee. And in the end, doing business will be a pleasure for everyone involved.Business Travel: Mixing Business and Leisure Gallery
Let’s admit it: we’re all guilty of mixing business and pleasure. Really, who wouldn't like to have some personal time before and after a business trip? That’s why business trips can be scheduled to give you some free time as well.
When you hear “integrated with Dynamics GP”, you expect a smooth and automated experience. But not all integrations are created equally. There are four main ways to get information into your Dynamics GP: enter it manually, import a flat file, invest in programmers for eConnect/BizTalk, or a truly automated web services integration. Manual integration speaks for itself. There’s a real person manually keying data into Dynamics GP, with all the potential for human error, endless man-hours and mountains of paperwork that entails. There was a time when this was the only way for other systems to “communicate” with GP. Fortunately, it was a long time ago! Flat file integration allows you to upload a specifically-formatted file into Dynamics GP. This means fewer hours spent entering data, less human error and much more accurate information transfer. The majority of Dynamics GP integrated applications use a flat file for data transfer, but it still means manually configuring the source system to send information to GP intelligently (and sometimes not so intelligently as configuration errors can result). Things are somewhat easier with flat files without all the manual data entry, but the process can be even better. eConnect/BizTalk is often used to integrate internal systems with GP, but there are a lot of IT and programming resources needed to make it happen. You need a real cloud-based web service integration today! Here’s how it works. Web Services for Microsoft Dynamics GP allows cloud-based systems to talk directly to specific areas of Dynamics GP via an open standard and instantly exchange information. It’s two-way, it’s seamless and, if a vendor does it in a great way, it’s error-proof. Let’s say an employee has left the company. Their record may be marked inactive in Dynamics GP, but if your systems aren’t fully integrated then that employee will still be active in your project management, expense reporting, time tracking and other systems. Without a web service integration, you would have to enter each system separately and deactivate the terminated employee manually, or even email the systems’ providers and ask them to do it. It takes your valuable time and leaves a lot of room for human error or omission. A web service integration lets you make a change in one place and trust that your other systems will be automatically updated to reflect it. It means you always have the latest data and can instantly get up-to-date information from those systems in Dynamics GP. Why is this so important? Imagine you’ve just subscribed to new cloud-based expense reporting software that will integrate with your Dynamics GP via web services. It’s awesome to use and great at mobile, but what about GP? Well, with a true cloud GP web services integration the setup of all your configuration data (vendors/employees, GL accounts, etc.) will be synced from Dynamics GP automatically, typically in a couple of minutes. Setting up GP web services takes a small amount of time for your IT team, but once it’s done you have a flexible way for truly innovative solutions that use Web Services for Microsoft Dynamics GP to easily be able to integrate, two-ways, without any manual intervention. The web service integration will make sure your expense reporting software knows exactly what’s happening in Dynamics GP - new users or GL accounts you’ve added, fields or dimensions you’ve changed - and will synchronize all the changes with a push of a button or on a scheduled basis. It’ll understand the mapping of your GL segments and intuitively “talk” to your native accounts. Approved expenses will just show up in GP after the final approval, complete and ready to be paid, all without anything manually keyed in, all without importing anything. You’ll always have your out of pocket expenses, credit card transactions and VAT tax amounts right where they’re supposed to be. Hours and hours will be saved, so you can direct your attention to your business and not on data entry. That’s what truly automated integration with Dynamics GP means. Why settle for anything less?Incorporating Seamless Cloud Integration With Dynamics GP Gallery
When you hear “integrated with Dynamics GP”, you expect a smooth and automated experience. But not all integrations are created equally.
In our previous blog post, we talked about how to create a travel expense policy for your company. Now, you’ve got that bright-and-shiny new policy all ready to go! If you think your job is done, think again. There’s no use having a policy that gathers dust in a filing cabinet alongside all the other rules and procedures. The tough part is making it work! Considering only half of employees actually understand a company’s policies, it’s not an easy task. So what should you do to ensure your team understands your policy - and actually follow it? Here’s what you can do to increase compliance and save time and money.
1. Use simple languageYour policy should be easy for each and every team member to understand, regardless of their age or experience. When crafting a policy, make sure to use common words, avoid professional lingo and give examples. Imagine you’re writing for a 12-year-old child.
2. Make it accessible.Every business traveller must be introduced to the policy and have access to it at any time. Make sure your employees are aware of the policy, have read it and know how to act on it. The document must be easy for them to reference so that your travellers can refresh their memory or clear any doubts they might have.
3. Be flexible.Have room in your policy for something unexpected. Situations are bound to come up that aren’t clearly defined in your policy and you'll want to make it easy for your business travellers to know what to do. For example, you can add an expense category named “Other” (with memo and receipt requirements), or make an allowance for a higher-value flight if there’s an emergency and the less expensive class is overbooked (you can also ask for an explanation and some sort of proof from the airline). Make sure to review your policy at least once a year as both your business and the travel industry are constantly evolving and you'll need your policy to remain relevant.
4. Show you care.It’s important for your employees to see that you really care about their opinion and safety. Ask for their feedback about the policy. This small step will give you insight into how well your employees understand the policy, which parts need to be explained better and what kind of updates are required. When employees are brought into the policy creation process, their level of satisfaction and - as a result - their compliance significantly increases.
5. Automate.With expense reporting software in place, the whole policy compliance process becomes so much easier! Now your employees don’t need to constantly refer to the policy document; the system will point out any violations or even prevent them from submitting a report that isn’t compliant, while also maintaining the flexibility that you added in Step 2. Not only will the system help to increase policy compliance, but also save time for business travellers, administrators and accountants. These five tips will help your employees easily understand and comply with the policy. Now your policy will work for you, keeping your business productive, organized and compliant.How To Make Your Travel Policy Work Gallery
In our previous blog post, we talked about how to create a travel expense policy for your company. Now, you’ve got that bright-and-shiny new policy all ready to go! If you think your job is done, think again.
If your employees travel for business - regardless of your business size - you need to implement a travel expense policy.
Yes, even if you’re a two-person operation and you both only travel twice a year.
- Get your business expenses under control, spend less and fight fraud
- Reinforce your corporate culture and discipline
- Simplify and speed-up your reimbursement process
- Get organized!
Here’s what a travel expense policy should cover:
1. Expense categories allowed for reimbursement. The most important groups include accommodation, travel (airlines, ground transportation, employee-owned vehicles) and meals. You might also want to include a communication group for phone and internet payments. Chances are there will be expenses that aren’t covered by any of these categories, so be flexible and add a “Miscellaneous” category to your policy. To gain more control, set per-day or per-trip spending limits for each category.
2. Proof of payment. Determine if you want to see receipts for all expenses or just for the ones that exceed a certain amount.
3. Timing. Give your employees a time frame for submitting expense reports. Encourage your business travellers to submit reports as soon as possible to speed-up the process. If you want the most accurate information, ask them to create an expense report the same day they incur the expense (especially important for foreign currency expenses). Also, be nice and clearly lay-out the reimbursement period so they know when to expect their money back.
4. Information required in the expense report. It’s a good idea to at least require the expense date, amount, category, place and business purpose (a project, trade show or customer).
5. Approval process. Show your employees who will approve their expenses in each case. The process might be as simple as forwarding the report to an accountant for approval then payment. It can also be a bit more complicated, based on the amount spent, project or category, or any other parameter.
For a more sophisticated process, consider this:
- Set up an employee hierarchy with permission levels so they can have different amounts to spend and approval processes depending on their positions.
- Consider using corporate credit cards or prepaid cards for your travellers. Outline if you want your employee to use the cards for all business-related expenses or just for specific ones.
- Choose preferred providers and put down their names in the policy. You might have special relations with a hotel chain or an airline, so you can encourage your travellers to use these providers and to help keep your budget in shape.
While crafting your travel expense policy, keep in mind it should not only help you control corporate spending, but also your help your employees comply with policy easily - and increase productivity. That’s why, above all, make it simple to administer and easy to use.Why Create A Travel Expense Policy (And How To Do It) Gallery
If your employees travel for business - regardless of your business size - you need to implement a travel expense policy. Yes, even if you’re a two-person operation and you both only travel twice a year. Here’s why: Get your business expenses under control, spend less and fight fraud Reinforce your corporate culture and discipline Simplify and speed-up your reimbursement process Get organized! Convinced yet? Here’s what a travel expense policy should cover: 1. Expense categories allowed for reimbursement. The most important groups include accommodation, travel (airlines, ground transportation, employee-owned vehicles) and meals. You might also want to include a
In March 2014, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) granted access to Open Payments for healthcare manufacturers which began Phase 1 of the expense reporting process. Now, applicable manufacturers are required to register and submit their expense data. Phase 2 is now in effect and enables you to check and correct your report. By now, the majority of companies should have already collected all required information - ideally done automatically and not manually. So here’s the question: What is so special about these health care expenses and why should they be collected and reported differently? As you remember, one of the Sunshine Act’s fundamental requirements is to provide the participants’ information: who the report was made in relation to (the doctor and the institution). To be able to access this data correctly, you must have access to The National Practitioner Data Bank whenever you pay for your partners/practitioners dinner or make any other required reporting expense. How about specific expense categories against which you have to report your expenses? Not only do you need to collect the data, you must break it down into three specific expense categories: research, general, and physician ownership. To comply with this requirement, you must map all related expenses to the correct category. Can you imagine doing all of this manually? Even if you were willing to take that time out of your day to complete it, how accurate can you guarantee the data would be? You don’t want to risk your reputation and income for an incorrect expense report. Furthermore, how many employee hours would it take to complete, check and map the report? Expense reporting software which supports the Sunshine Act will save your time and money by simplifying the whole process. The Sunshine Act was put in place to provide transparency for financial relationships between healthcare providers and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Compliance is required by law, so take advantage of the tools available to make this additional step that much easier. To see an example of how Nexonia Expenses can keep your business compliant with the Sunshine Act, watch a demo with an experienced Product Specialist. Healthcare Expense Reporting for the Sunshine Act Gallery
In March 2014, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) granted access to Open Payments for healthcare manufacturers which began Phase 1 of the expense reporting process. Now, applicable manufacturers are required to register and submit their expense data. Phase 2 is now in effect and enables you to check and correct your report. By now, the majority of companies should have already collected all required information - ideally done automatically and not manually. So here’s the question: What is so special about these health care expenses and why should they be collected and reported differently? As you remember, one
Do your employees use a mobile app to track and report their business travel expenses? Well, if you want to start saving time and money on all your company's business trips: make sure they do! More and more surveys show that companies with better policy compliance and spending control use mobile apps to manage expense reports. If you're wondering "how does a mobile app affect either of those things?", I suggest you read on.
Still with us here? Great.
First off, let’s all admit to ourselves that people have about as much fun filing their business expenses as visiting the dentist... they want it over as quick and painlessly as possible. Naturally, the more complicated the processes and policies are, the less enthusiastic your employees are going to be about completing them. As a result: on average, every third report violates policy and the company ends up spending more than they expected. That's just bad for everyone.
So how do you get your employees to follow your company’s guidelines? The answer is simple: make it easy for them. What could be easier than a mobile app? It’s always with you, it automates all corporate spending policies, it has cool features - receipts imaging, Google Maps generation, tip calculator, and so much more! No more “internet connection problem” or “my dog ate my receipts” excuses - with the right mobile app all business expenses can be created and submitted easily in just minutes, from anywhere. With the right app and the right attitude, your employees will not only be prepared, they may even be excited to get their expenses in order with this solution to the humdrum of paperwork.
But be careful, there are several apps to pick from and not all of them will align with your business needs and wants, so research and choose wisely. If you want your employees to save their time and your money - offer them an awesome expense report app! It’s a win-win for everyone, that’s what all those surveys actually say.How You Can Save on Business Expenses with a Mobile App Gallery
Do your employees use a mobile app to track and report their business travel expenses? Well, if you want to start saving time and money on all your company's business trips: make sure they do! More and more surveys show that companies with better policy compliance and spending control use mobile apps to manage expense reports. If you're wondering "how does a mobile app affect either of those things?", I suggest you read on. Still with us here? Great. First off, let’s all admit to ourselves that people have about as much fun filing their business expenses as visiting the
It’s 7am and you find yourself sipping a coffee while wandering the inside of an almost-empty convention center. You’re sizing up the booth branded with your company logo and information; comparing it to your competitor’s booth two rows over. You’re confident that the advancements to your product this year have put you a cut above the rest. Your team has worked tirelessly on presenting everything in a simple, informative, and eye-catching manner. You’re wondering if you’ll get more foot traffic than last year. You’ve got an hour before doors open to tweak the arrangement of your pamphlets, fret about a missing extension cord, and prepare for the whirlwind to come. Yes, it’s time for another trade show.
Every year, nearly 21 million people attend trade shows, conferences, and conventions. That is such enormous opportunity for new business! Looking at the figures, it just makes sense to participate. Events like this are a great way for companies to promote themselves while providing a face behind the name. Since travelling for business is such a vital part of generating new revenue (on average - $9.50 in return for every $1.00 invested), getting yourself and your team together for a presence at a trade show is just another one of those vital costs of doing business.
The keys to making these types of events profitable are managing your time, your expectations, and your costs. So let’s take a look at those in a bit more detail.
Manage your time by making every moment and interaction count. Nexonia is a firm believer that time is money, so that’s why this is first on the list. Working the floor of a trade show reminds many employees of when they first cut their teeth in sales - possibly walking retail floors in search of their next commission. When you consider that more than 80% of attendees for these events have some kind of buying power, it is incredibly vital to bring your ‘A’ game. Many people come to do business, and that’s why more than half of all qualified sales leads from events are closed without an additional in-person visit. Nearly everyone there is a potential new customer, so it is best to treat them as such. In short: hit the ground running hard and fast.
Manage your expectations by realizing that while you may deal with hundreds (or thousands) of new leads that day, you’re not going to win them all. Your competitors are out there doing the same thing, trying to prove they can out-do you. That’s the nature of the whole dance, isn’t it? And keep in mind that you’re also much more likely to interest a small-to-medium sized business owner, rather than the financial head of a massive corporation. Sure, swing for the fences with big contracts - but keep in mind that the small ones do add up. And what’s much more valuable than any revenue, is that every additional customer is new potential word-of-mouth. Always remember that you’re at these events to build relationships above everything else.
Manage your costs by spending smart and tracking your business expenses. You can always find ways to save with any sort of business travel, but trade shows can bring on a lot of atypical costs. With additional materials and installations required, as well as the simple price of securing one of those coveted vendor spots, these opportunities do not come cheap. That’s why it’s important to keep your budget in mind - so that the line between associated costs and profit is that much easier to cross.
The digital age has given rise to an incredible new number of ways to connect. A business isn’t really a business anymore without an online presence. Social media has become such an important marketing tool that positions now exist solely for people with the ability to stay on trend and keep their company’s Twitter feed and Facebook presence fresh. Virtual meetings are so commonplace that some even fear the art of the handshake may suffer with the next generation of business executives. But it’s still impossible to imagine a world operating without that human element to business.
Considering how 92% of event attendees are specifically coming to see new products, and that 99% say they find “unique value” from trade shows that they would not get from other mediums, it really is one of the best possible ways to get noticed in an overcrowded marketplace. You’re face-to-face, demonstrating your product or service and answering the questions that matter to this very real potential customer, directly and personally. There is absolutely no substitute for that kind of exposure, or that kind of start to a business relationship.So while it may be a hectic few days of plane rides, hotels, sales pitches and smiles – in the end, you’ll be glad you put the time and effort into attending a trade show. Potential profits aside, you’ve helped reinforce your brand by putting the faces of your employees behind the name of your company. And that is priceless.Tricks of the Trade Show Gallery
It’s 7am and you find yourself sipping a coffee while wandering the inside of an almost-empty convention center. You’re sizing up the booth branded with your company logo and information; comparing it to your competitor’s booth two rows over. You’re confident that the advancements to your product this year have put you a cut above the rest. Your team has worked tirelessly on presenting everything in a simple, informative, and eye-catching manner. You’re wondering if you’ll get more foot traffic than last year. You’ve got an hour before doors open to tweak the arrangement of your
For obvious reasons, companies of all sizes need to keep their finances in order with a clear and controlled system. Tax time, audits, financial reports, cross-checking spending - without proper data organization - this becomes an utter nightmare. That’s why products like QuickBooks, Intacct, NetSuite, Xero, MS Dynamics, and many more ERPs and accounting programs exist - each filling their customers’ needs with different capabilities, characteristics, quirks, and charms. The only major drawback to these programs is that they’re designed to be primarily used by accountants and financial teams. So how do your employees go about submitting timesheets, purchase orders, or especially expense reports? Would it surprise you that many companies still have complicated methods requiring internal forms, receipts being physically attached to paper, and a process of shuffling these stacks of files up the appropriate chain of approvers until finally it lands on some poor accountant’s desk? And then, then administrative team have the fun job of double-checking the reports once more before entering them into their accounting system by hand. Seems a bit time-consuming, doesn’t it? Another word comes to mind: archaic. This is why many companies have switched to an online reporting solution. On average, it takes around two hours to complete an expense report by spreadsheet. Multiply that by each employee, for each report, and that equates to quite a bit of lost time! However, by switching to electronic management of these forms, employees benefit from a much faster and simplified procedure. Approvers benefit from automatic notifications and direct access to the reports, as well as auto-enforced spending policies. Finally, that overworked accountant benefits from digital receipts and concise data. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, when we reach this point - the final step before these approved reports can be processed and then compensated for - we need to get that information into a company’s accounting system. And that, my friends, is where integration comes into play. There’s another reason why 90% of companies report fewer errors with the reporting process - and that is from also integrating their corporate credit cards with their expense reporting solution. Two thirds of these companies are also benefiting from lower costs to process a single report and much fewer cases of fraud. By bringing charges directly into the system via automated transaction feeds, and mandating that all (or most) business expenses be done on company-issued cards, all the info is laid out for everyone at every step of the way: from the submitter, through the approvers, right to the accounting manager. Nothing gets lost in the shuffle, and the ability to review anyone’s corporate spending is quite literally a couple mouse clicks away. In short: you simplify, you secure, and you save! By integrating a company’s expense reporting system directly with its accounting software, another crucial step is simplified and automated - and with it, the room for human error is minimized. In reality, this step should be a bit of a no-brainer. You’ve gone through the efforts of implementing a simple and streamlined expense reporting system, you’ve got digitized receipts and organized data…why would you not have that feed directly into your ERP and save on workflow? Well, nearly two thirds of the top-performing companies in their field know this and rely on an integrated ERP system to handle their business expenses. Each of those companies benefit by saving a third of the time taken for reimbursement, a third of the costs spent on processing expenses, and by having a third better compliance on corporate spending policies. What’s more: documented processes for submissions and approvals, real-time visibility of spending and budgets, and regular audits of expense reports become simple and standard procedures. This is precisely why ERP integration is favored by best-in-class businesses. The flow of data is non-stop - that much is inarguable. So why not take advantage of this steady stream of information and make it work for you? By automating these things, the grunt work is taken out of some more tedious tasks, and everyone benefits from more reliable and controllable results. The ability for these systems to handshake with one another and work together is already present, so it only makes sense to get all your proverbial ducks in a row. Choosing the right ERP for your company’s needs and the best expense reporting system may require a bit of research, but once you’ve got your all-stars picked out, get them working together! And don’t forget to bring in your credit card feeds as well. Your employees will benefit from quicker reimbursements. Your approvers will benefit from a streamlined process. Your managers will benefit from less errors and fraud. Your owners will benefit by saving money. And your accountant will benefit by actually being able to see their desk again!Integration is Integral Gallery
For obvious reasons, companies of all sizes need to keep their finances in order with a clear and controlled system. Tax time, audits, financial reports, cross-checking spending - without proper data organization - this becomes an utter nightmare. That’s why products like QuickBooks, Intacct, NetSuite, Xero, MS Dynamics, and many more ERPs and accounting programs exist - each filling their customers’ needs with different capabilities, characteristics, quirks, and charms. The only major drawback to these programs is that they’re designed to be primarily used by accountants and financial teams. So how do your employees go about submitting timesheets, purchase orders,
Starting a business is no easy task. When you’ve got a product or service that you are passionate about, your focus is directed on how to offer and promote it to the public. You’re likely dealing with rent, utilities, personnel, management, infrastructure, equipment, supplies, furniture, product, branding, advertising, etc, etc… When so many important things require your immediate attention to even get your start-up off the ground, some of the less obvious challenges in running a business tend to be initially overlooked.
One such challenge is how to properly handle business expenses. Let’s be honest - did that thought even cross your mind? Chances are that even if it did, it was way in the back. Well, what about at the end of the year when looking over the books? It sure becomes readily apparent that you need a clear system when you’re staring down a disorganized mountain of receipts. Instead, start off on the right track with these important tips for handling your small business expenses.
1. Use your accounting system
It all starts here. Unless you’re planning to run your operation using quill and ledger like you’re in a Charles Dickens novel, there’s no reason not to get one of the many available accounting programs to track your finances. Even though it may seem simple enough to just use a spreadsheet at first to track your expenses, you’ll soon discover that making heads or tails of everything becomes nigh impossible. To keep all your transactions knit and clear, claim your tax deductions, audit your own finances at any time, and save on hours required to do quarter and year-end reports - start using your accounting system right away.
2. Connect corporate credit and debit cards to the accounting system
It’s pretty simple to get the details of any business card transaction into your accounting system as soon as it appears on your statement. Sure, you can do it later - but not all financial institutions will provide you with transactions older than 3 months… and you do not want to lose any information associated with business expenses. By tracking your credit card feeds immediately, you avoid having to figure out months down the road what certain charges are all about.
3. Differentiate between Out-of-Pocket and Company Paid expenses
Surprisingly, one of the most common mistakes a small business makes is mixing up these two types of expenses. The difference is pretty simple. Out-of-pocket expenses are literally paid out of your pocket; you spend your own money (cash, debit, credit) on a business expense, so you need to be reimbursed for it. Company paid expenses are bought with corporate funds (check, petty cash, credit) and need to be recorded as such.
4. Set up expense categories
Did you know that not all expenses are treated and filed the same way? Some may be fully deductible and some only up to 50%. And each of them should be “reasonable” - which is a euphemism for “industry average”. That’s why it’s important to itemize all your expenses into different categories from the very beginning: supplies, meals, transportation, hotel, phone, etc.
5. Manage your receipts
Without proof of purchase, it can be an extremely tough time if your business is ever audited. So along with the credit and debit card transactions, you will be required to keep any and all receipts associated with your business expenses. But even if you manage to hang on to every scrap of paper, over time they will fade, tire, tear and discolor. If you can’t even tell what the receipt was for, it’s useless. Instead, just take a picture of the receipt and recycle the original. You’ve got the security of a digital copy and you’re even thinking green.With these few things in mind, you can see how simple it is to start your business’s finances off on the right foot. Organization is simple, yet so very important to prevent chaos down the road. Taking those first few steps into the world of entrepreneurship may seem daunting - but with the right game plan and the proper attitude, you’ll be off and running in no time. And then there’s no telling how far you’ll go.Best Practices: Expenses for Small Businesses Gallery
Starting a business is no easy task. When you’ve got a product or service that you are passionate about, your focus is directed on how to offer and promote it to the public. You’re likely dealing with rent, utilities, personnel, management, infrastructure, equipment, supplies, furniture, product, branding, advertising, etc, etc… When so many important things require your immediate attention to even get your start-up off the ground, some of the less obvious challenges in running a business tend to be initially overlooked. One such challenge is how to properly handle business expenses. Let’s be honest - did that thought even
Year after year, as the average cost of a business trip is increasing, companies are spending big money on business-related travel. From meeting with current and prospective clients to attending industry expositions, there is never a shortage of reasons for employees to pack a suitcase and hit the road. But all the costs associated with these trips end up inevitably being paid out of the company coffers. So just how much does it cost? Well let’s take a look.
The average daily aggregate of land transportation, meals, and accommodations (known as the Corporate Travel Index) rose by 1.6% up to $262.41 in 2013 (source: Business Travel News). This is in no small part due to hotel rate increases (+6.6%), and stands in contrast to the cost of car rentals and meals having actually declined (-6% and -2.5% respectively). Furthermore, this overall trend of increase is very likely to continue through 2014, as Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) predicts.
Looking around the globe, CWT notes that Latin America is growing in popularity for business travels, with its rates rising right alongside the demand. Asia Pacific is another hot destination with a strong pull for business travel and conferences. And while the majority of Europe seems to be on a bit of a downswing, Russia and Germany are maintaining a small, yet steady growth. Still, no matter where you wind up travelling for business - it’s going to cost.
So what can you do to keep it all in budget? Here are a few tips on how to save money on your corporate travels:
Reduce time spent on trips
If you can, just make it a day-trip. The obvious benefit: less (or nothing) spent on a hotel room. The not-so-obvious benefits: less chances for personal spending, extra meals, ground transportation, and other incidental costs.
Look for corporate discounts
Quite often, hotels are willing to offer a reduced rate for corporate travellers, so just ask! Sometimes it doesn’t even matter how often you travel or how many potential travellers there are in your company because they just want your business.
Consider alternative airports and other ways to commute
Big international airports are great... and expensive. When flying to local airports, you can often end up with better rates. Another alternative can be renting a car or taking a train for closer trips. If you factor in the extra time spent commuting to and from the airport, going through security, and dealing with luggage and flight delays - that 1-2 hour flight easily becomes 4-6 hours spent traveling.
Hire a travel agency
Agencies very frequently have access to much better rates for accommodations and flights. Plus, they equip you with better cancellation fees, advanced booking rates, and solutions for complicated trips. If you have employees that travel a lot - get an agent to handle your details.
Automate your expense reporting
With the ability to immediately record any incurred corporate travel expenses, easily align credit card transactions and save images of receipts - you will never miss an expense and your employees will be reimbursed that much quicker. In addition, a streamlined approval process and automatically enforced corporate spending policies make it simple to control any charges.
The cost of business is always going up, and the cost of corporate travel will always climb with it. Even in our digital world, person-to-person interaction is still at the very core of doing business. Because of this fact, business trips will always be an important and unavoidable expense for any company. But with so many ways to stay within budget, it pays to travel smart. Bon voyage!Cost of Business Travel and How You Can Save Gallery
Year after year, as the average cost of a business trip is increasing, companies are spending big money on business-related travel. From meeting with current and prospective clients to attending industry expositions, there is never a shortage of reasons for employees to pack a suitcase and hit the road. But all the costs associated with these trips end up inevitably being paid out of the company coffers. So just how much does it cost? Well let’s take a look. The average daily aggregate of land transportation, meals, and accommodations (known as the Corporate Travel Index) rose by 1.6% up to