How trip reports can save you money

Business travelA trip report is a simple way to keep track of how much money you’re spending on travel, and it can save you quite a bit of money. Putting together a trip report will only take you a few minutes, and can provide several benefits for your business.

To keep a trip report, keep your receipts from hotel, restaurant and transportation costs. At the end of your trip, write a short, two-to-three sentence description about where you went and what you did there.

Here are three of the ways trip reports could help your business (and save you money!)

Document travel spending in case of an audit

While getting audited isn’t extremely likely, it’s best to have all your business spending accounted for. One oversight can encourage an IRS auditor to dig further, so it’s important to make sure you aren’t improperly classifying travel expenditures.

Using a trip report for each trip will also help you stay organized. Instead of sorting through receipts and trying to identify the trip that applies to each, you can collect the trip information once and enclose all of the related receipts in the same folder.

Learn how much you’re really spending on travel

After you’ve started using trip reports, you’ll probably notice that it’s easier to see how much money you’re spending on travel. While you might already have a vague idea of how much a trip usually costs you, this will allow you to see a clear trend.

Once you’re keeping track, you might be surprised by how all those travel expenses add up.

Adjust your business practices to save money

Armed with the information from your trip reports, you can adjust the way you do business in order to save money. You may find that some of the work you’re traveling for can be done in the office. Perhaps you could start putting a focus on finding more local customers so you won’t have to travel as much.

For some small businesses, cutting travel altogether isn’t possible. However, you might see that spending a bit differently saves you money as well. Perhaps you can choose a different type of hotel, or search for better airline deals, and save money that way.

By tracking, learning from, and acting on your trip reports, you can be ready for the IRS if you ever need to be, and save more cash for your company’s other needs.

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