Travel expenses | Traveldoo
What is meant by travel expenses and how are they best managed?
Travel expenses, also known as business expenses, are expenses incurred by employees in the interest of the company during business trips (plane tickets, accommodation, restaurants, taxis, etc.). To claim the reimbursement of these expenses, employees must complete an expense report and provide the associated supporting documents. This process, which is often regarded as tedious and complicated, must comply with certain rules and conditions in order to avoid a tax adjustment. These expense reports are frequently examined by HMRC (HM Revenue & Customs). Find out all you need to know about travel expenses here!
Travel expenses or business expenses?
Business expenses or travel expenses are expenses paid up front by the employee on behalf of the company during business trips or professional engagements.
The employee can claim reimbursement of these expenses from the company by completing an expense report, provided that they comply with a number of specific tax rules and conditions.
The different travel expenses covered
Before completing an expense report, it is important to find out which expenses may be covered by a business:
- Food and drink expenses (business meals, etc.)
- Accommodation expenses (hotels, etc.).
- Travel expenses (fuel, tolls, parking, public transport, etc.).
- NICT expenses (use of new technology tools)
- Expenses for small office supplies and miscellaneous consumables
To be eligible for reimbursement, these expenses must be:
- strictly professional
- of a reasonable amount so that they cannot be regarded as fringe benefits
- accompanied by supporting documents or invoices.
In addition, reimbursement of travel expenses may be claimed by people working for any kind of organisation (SMEs, large groups, associations, start-ups etc.), whatever their status (non-management employees, executives, directors, volunteers).
The expense report
The expense report form can be in either digital or hard-copy format (depending on whether you use a paper or digital system). It is used by employees to claim reimbursement of their travel expenses. It is usually submitted to the accounts or administrative department, who will then process the reimbursement.
The rules to follow for completing an expense report
In order for travel expenses to be reimbursed, employees must provide an expense report containing the following information, to ensure that they are in compliance with tax requirements and to avoid a tax adjustment:
- the expense report number (as with invoices)
- the date or period
- the name of the employee
- his/her department
- the reason
- the place
- the expense type (business meal, taxi, train ticket, etc.)
- the amount excl. taxes and incl. taxes
- the description of the expenses.
Expense report supporting documents
Expense reports must be accompanied by a receipt or invoice to ensure reimbursement and to avoid a tax adjustment.
The expense report reimbursement procedure
The procedure for reimbursement of travel expenses is usually as follows:
- The employee pays the expenses up front, prepares his/her expense report incorporating the information specified above and provides the supporting documents.
- The manager approves the expenses
- The accountant checks the supporting documents
- The finance department proceeds with the reimbursement.
The different supporting documents for expense reports
The employee may provide the following supporting documents to claim reimbursement:
- detailed invoices or receipts showing:
- the name of the customers/clients invited, their positions and the name of their company
- attachments, depending on the situation:
- a copy of the vehicle registration card in the employee’s name
- toll tickets
- parking tickets.
Expense reports are quite often examined during a tax audit. If fraud is detected or if you have made an error, you will be liable for national insurance, employee and employer contributions.
Look out for false supporting documents or expense reports that are incomprehensible or lack details. And don’t forget to check the date!
An effective and comprehensive expense report management tool
The Traveldoo Expense solution has been created to facilitate the management of travel expenses, which is often a long and tedious process. This solution provides genuine time savings, makes the accounting of expense reports much easier and speeds up the reimbursements process, through the use of innovative features and tools (in particular, the digitisation of expense reports and supporting documents).
In addition, the Traveldoo Expense mobile application allows those responsible for approving expenses (accountants, managers, etc.) to use their smartphones or tablets to check and approve employees’ expense reports and supporting documents at any time. Management of travel expenses requires a rigorous, methodical approach, and specific rules and conditions must be followed. With its intuitive and efficient features, Traveldoo Expense will make this task easier. Find out more about our solution!