Why Should We Use a Travel Expense Report Template?

There are things which we can control in our lives while we are powerless to foresee the outcome of certain things beforehand. These aspects of life will never be able to give us the perfect answers or results, which we need to be happy. They may even give us the worst result, thereby plunging into the depths of sadness. Such uncertain aspects can also be controlled to some extent, enabling us to get at least a little amount of goodness from them. This being the case, the world of business has never been able to give us the expected results all the time and some have even faced a drastic change in their financial status from prince to becoming a pauper at the need. This will happen to those who do not use the tools of making sure that they give them a little control over things. One of the tools will be the use of a travel expense report template, among the employees of the concern. These forms will help the company in understanding the details about the expected and the actual expenses incurred, for every specific period, in terms of travel arrangements and allowances.

By making sure that the excessive and unnecessary expenses incurred from every department of the company is brought down, the total funds with the organisation can be saved and may be used effectively for some other important and necessary needs of the firm. Hence, by monitoring the expenses of the travel arrangement for employees and their business cargo, companies can benefit greatly indeed. Since travel and cargo shipment are mainly under the control of other agencies with which the company has signed a contract, these expenses will need to be monitored carefully to detect any fraudulent activities on their part, which might lead to unwanted depletion of funds from our reserves.

A travel expense report template will contain fields by which we can fill the details of the travel expenses can be filled in properly and thereby the expenses incurred for the employee can be made known to the company. The funds used for such expenses can be obtained from the company before leaving or can be obtained from them after returning from the journey. However, both these requisitions should be backed up by the travel expense report made from the templates available with them. Hence, the use of a good travel expense report template will not only benefit the company but also the employee as well to a great extent.

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Travel Expense Reports

Travel expense reports are the records of the travel and expense (T&E) spending of the employees of business organizations. Indeed, travel and expense spending is the third largest but controllable cost after salaries of employees and data-processing costs of an organization. Every business traveler has to submit expense report to the Accounts Department of his company for claiming reimbursement. Almost all organizations, whether business or service, have their own formats of travel expense reports to be filled out and submitted by the employees at the end of their trips. Along with the submission of the report, an employee has to submit the receipts and vouchers of his expenses.

However, some companies may not insist on the receipts if the total claim is less than certain amount. If the employees meet the expenses by credit card, the statement will serve as an evidence for claiming that amount from the employer. If the employee submits the travel expense report online, then he can attach electronic receipts. Generally for frequent business travelers, it is useful to submit T&E reports online to save time. Nowadays, companies are using expense report software to enrich the process of submission, approval and reimbursement by reducing the costs involved at the same time.

The travel expense report should include the details about the full name of the employee, his designation and level, purpose, dates and locations of travel, list of all the expenses, advance amounts taken by the employee, if any, attachments of all the vouchers and receipts, preferable mode of payment to the employee and signatures of both the traveler and the authorized person who has given approval for the travel. While mentioning the expenses, the employee has to clearly segregate the credit card payments and cash payments. Once the report has been submitted with the concerned department for approval, it should be reviewed, and if everything is as per the rules, reimbursement should be sanctioned. Then the payroll department would reimburse the amount to the employee.

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Work Related Expenses – Travel Expenses

Common travel expenses you may be able to claim include air, bus, train & taxi fares. If you use a road vehicle designed to carry a load of one tonne or more, or nine or more passengers, use a motor cycles, incur bridge/road tolls, parking, car hire fees, meal expenses or accommodation expenses whilst away overnight for work then you have incurred travel expenses.

You cannot claim a deduction for costs associated with travel to and from work however if the travel is from one job directly to a second job you can claim a deduction for costs incurred for that leg of the travel. Travel from the second job to home is not deductible.

You can claim a deduction for costs incurred travelling from your usual place of work to another location for the same employer, for example to a clients premises while still on duty then back to your usual work place or directly home. In this case you can claim the cost of travel to another work location and the cost of returning to your usual workplace or the cost of going straight home. Travel to and from locations for the purpose of study is not covered here as these are claimed under ‘Self Education Expenses’.

Generally parking fees and tolls can only be claimed where there is also a deduction available for the travelling expense, there are a few exceptions to this rule and you can view these on the ATO website.

The treatment of overnight travel for work is varied depending on an individual’s circumstances.

For an employee, this is where they undertake the travel for an activity which is directly related to their income earning activities as an employee. For a business person (sole trader etc) the expense must have been necessarily incurred for the purpose of producing assessable income.

For travel within Australia, no written evidence and no travel records are required if the employee receives a travel allowance and claims no more than the amount considered reasonable by the Tax Office.

If the employee is travelling for 6 nights or more a travel diary or similar must be maintained for travel within Australia or overseas

If no travel allowance is received, or the claim is more than the amount considered reasonable by the Tax Office all travel expenses claimed must be supported by written records. It is always advisable to keep a diary if travelling overseas, or if you are away for any period of time. Records, such as the date and time of meetings, business cards of people attending the meetings etc always help to substantiate any travel claim.

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