5 ways to get smart with business expenses

Struggling to keep track of your business expenses? Whether you are simply trying to manage your own business expenses or trying to get a better grip on expenses, company-wide - we understand.

As corporate event specialists, we are often traveling for business and dealing with global business travel expenses that can stack up over time not only for our team, but also on behalf of our clients. It can be a challenge, not only to keep track of expenses but also to keep track of which expenses are tax-deductible.

The good news is that we have put our heads together and come up with five ways to get smart with business expenses:

1. Invest in digital business expense software

The days of keeping wads of receipts and filling out forms are thankfully fading fast. Not only will a digital solution make the process easier for you and your staff, it will also enable more transparency. At the click of a button you will be able to review business expenses for the entire business with month on month and year on year comparisons that will help you work towards improving the impact on the bottom line.

TOP TIP: Make sure that the technology you choose is compatible with your accounting software.

2. Use a business expense app

Most business expense programs include a mobile expense app so that you and your employees are able to capture a picture of receipts on the go. If this is not the case, there are plenty of apps out there to choose from.

Not only will a mobile expense app help you keep track of expenses, it will make for a happier workforce when they are on the go. Shop around for the one that suits you - ideally you want receipt capture that integrates with your desktop software and guidance on what can and can’t be claimed available when you are on the move.

3. Automate business expense tracking

Whether you have now invested in a digital business expense solution or plan to utilise accounting software such as Quickbooks, take the time to setup an automated report and/or spreadsheet that helps you to keep track of expenses. This will come in handy when it is time to complete your tax return and help you to prepare for that unexpected meeting that might crop up.

4. Keep personal and business expenses separate

If you don’t already have a company credit card, then we would recommend taking out a credit card this is specifically for business travel and accommodation expenses when you are on the move. This means, that receipt or not, you will always be able to track your business expenses, without any risk of mixing it up with your personal spending.

5. Swat up on tax deductions for work expenses

There are plenty of resources out there that go into more depth on which business expenses are tax deductible. According to Which?, you may be able to claim tax relief on expenses incurred ‘wholly, exclusively and necessarily’ in the performance of the duties of your employment. In summary business expenses eligible for tax deduction include:

● Business travel expenses - unreimbursed mileage up to the HMRC-approved mileage allowance (45p a mile for the first 10,000 miles, 25p a mile after that)

● Business trip expenses - reasonable expenses during business travel such as; public transport, accommodation, food and drink, parking fees and phone calls
● Uniform and equipment - protective clothing or uniform necessary for your job
● Membership fees - professional bodies necessary for your job
● Working at home - expenses incurred as a result of working at home regularly

Feeling ready to get back on track?

Whether you are tired of having a bag stuffed with receipts or often end up not claiming to avoid the admin – now is the time to take control of your business travel expenses.

If you are looking for more tips, why not check out our latest article on how to make the best first impression in business? You can also follow us on LinkedIn for more Corporate, Life Sciences and Destination Management updates.