Right before everyone left for Christmas, I had a colleague who was working furiously to get all of his expense reports done. One of his expense reports was for a business trip to Japan he took in July, 2008. That’s 5 months ago! The total amount was more than $15,000.
And this is not a rare case. I know a lot of frequent business travelers who are Expense Report Procrastinators. It could be tedious to keep track of receipts, and filled out expense reports. When I asked my colleague, his excuse was that the currency conversion gave him a big headache.
Those are his own money. Why not get them reimbursed as soon as possible? In this economy, all of us should watch our wallets closely. Plus, if he put the $15,000 into a CD account in July, even at 3% interests, he would have earned almost $200 in interests.
What if your company goes out of business, and you still have unreported expenses? According to this "Crisis Hits the Business School’s" article, an MBA student at University of Virginia Darden School of Business interned at Lehman Brothers this past Summer. By the time the intern returned to the campus, Lehman had filed for bankruptcy. Lehman’s last check for his travel expenses was bounced.
If a financial giant like Lehman could fail, a lot of companies could fail too. Instead of procrastinating, schedule some time NOW and get your expense reports in.
Below is a few productivity tips for "pain free" expense tracking and reporting:
- keep an envelop with you while you travel. Put all of the receipts into the envelop so that you don’t need to search for those receipts when you’re back.
- If you travel a lot, get yourself a NeatReceipts Professional Mobile Receipt and Document Scanner. You’ll have all of your receipts scanned, saved, and neatly organized in your computer. Very convenient for keeping receipts for reporting and tax purposes.
- After each trip, schedule time on your calendar for filling the expense report. Set the goal that you want to get your expenses reports done in time so that you can get your money back on the next paycheck.
Happy expense reporting. đź™‚