The Dummies Guide to Mobile Travel Expense Reports

By Devon Drennan on August 7, 2014

It’s 9 pm, there’s a stack of them in front of you. You’ve answered all the emails, even prepped all your materials and alarm clock for tomorrow. There’s one thing left to do: Your monthly expense report.

If only it was easy as saying no. But we can’t all be faceless superheroes. 

For most of us, it’s a tedious, terrible process: reports require manually entering in all the information by hand, scanning receipts, adding up the costs by hand. It’s time consuming for the employee. Worse? Accounting departments get the information late, or often have to deal with missing information or basic errors.

We can’t get rid of travel expense reports, but they can be faster, more accurate, and much easier to complete. Here’s how:

Wherever you go, mobile goes too

Working on the road, it can make filling out your travel expenses difficult. You need to pull out your computer, have the right program, or just time to spread out and enter in all the information.

With a mobile app, you can pull it up and enter as you go. Whether you’re in Minneapolis or Mumbai, just open your phone and start entering in the information. Not somewhere with internet access? That’s ok: you can still fill out the information. The mobile app will hold onto the information until you get an internet connection.

Instead of waiting until the last minute, you can chip away at your expense report before a meeting, or while waiting for your next flight. Suddenly, you’re done with days to spare.

Photo credit: Paxson Woelber via photopin cc

Faster reimbursement with mobile

In some of my old jobs, it’s taken two, even three months to submit a report and get reimbursed. More than an extra cost, it can make juggling personal finances more difficult too.

Going mobile allows for faster reimbursement. Why? My expense reports are immediately available in the cloud. Whether you need manager sign off, or to send it to Accounting, as soon as you finish, they can start working on it.

A mobile expense report makes filling out the form faster, but also easier for the home office to sign off on, and sign the check. I used to wait up to 30 days to be reimbursed. Because of real time access for my home office, I now get paid in 15 days or less.

Fewer issues

We’ve all had the struggle: you can’t quite read a receipt, or perhaps you’ve lost one of your receipts for dinner. When you’re on the road, costs add up, and it’s easy to lose the paper trail.

A mobile travel expense report allows me to upload photos into my expense report. One click, and there’s a visual proof of the receipt. Now, I don’t need to worry about carrying receipts around, and the office gets the proof they need for tax purposes.

A mobile app also just ensures fewer errors in general. Required fields make sure I never forget to fill in the important information. With calculations, the app can do all the math for me. It’s faster to fill out the form, and I don’t have to worry about any errors in the numbers.

To wrap it all up…

Travel expense reports are a fact of life. Even with a mobile app, you have to spend some time entering in the information. However, now it is faster, more accurate, and easier to do so.

Still, mobile travel expense reports are faster and easier to fill out, and will help you get reimbursed more quickly. Whether you work in sales or business development time is money. Isn’t time to free up your time for other work tasks you actually enjoy?

Start saving time today: Explore the Accommodation section of the GoCanvas Application Store to view several mobile templates to fit your needs!