When it comes to business travel, assistants have a whole different experience than the traveler. We experience it through expenses and receipts. The biggest problem comes down to communication. What did your executive buy that you don’t know about? What is going to show up on the credit-card statement and why?
Tying expenses to credit card statements can often feel overwhelming without all the information.
We recommend taking precautions and following a process to manage the chaos of business receipts and expenses.
Before the trip:
- As soon as you book a flight or hotel, select the print icon on the web page and select ‘Save as PDF’. Then, save the PDF of the receipt in a folder on your file cloud.
- Ask your colleague for their username and password to Uber and Lyft accounts so you can check them after a trip to gather any receipts.
- Remind your colleague that spending cash is not encouraged. Cash is very hard to track and a pain for the accounting department to reimburse.
- As soon as your colleague walks in the door, ask them for their receipts.
- Go through each one together and write down any important information you need to expense the receipt to the right account.
- Take notes directly on the receipts.
- Either snap a photo of the receipt immediately or tape the receipt to a piece of paper and scan the receipt onto your computer. Anticipate losing the actual receipt.
- Finally, ask your colleague if they purchased anything additional, such as a seat upgrade or paid for a parking garage and didn’t get a receipt.
The most important thing is to develop a cadence and to hold colleagues accountable for keeping track of receipts. For many purchase, your leader will receive a digital receipt. Routinely ask them to forward any digital receipts immediately (if you’re not already receiving their emails). Save these receipts into an email folder, or better, immediately save them as a PDF and upload them to your company’s file cloud.
When it comes time to match receipts with Credit Card statements, having a system like this is in place will make your life much easier.