LUTZ BUSINESS INSIGHTS
travel expenses out of control? add an app
lauren harris, senior accountant
Do you and/or your employees submit expense reports for business travel? Are you still doing so manually? If so, you know how time- and labor-intensive this process is – and how error-prone it can be. Employees sometimes expense items and services that aren’t in line with your policies. They may even lose receipts or forget to document important expenditures.
Unfortunately, though it’s equipped to record expenses and pay bills, QuickBooks does not provide an easy solution to this problem. You will need a separate application for that, one that integrates easily with QuickBooks. Several good apps are available. Here are some of the features that many of them offer:
Tight integration with QuickBooks’ account structure.
To ensure that this partnership results in accurate data in your QuickBooks company file, the apps help you “match” things like customers and vendors, items, and employee records in QuickBooks to their own classifications.
Easy employee access.
Your staff members probably live on their smartphones or tablets when they travel. These apps allow them to record expenses as they go, even taking pictures of receipts and assigning them to line items in their expense reports. When they’re back in the office, reconstructing their trips and submitting the actual reports is a simple, automated process.
Powerful administrator tools.
Your employees’ travel expense data will flow directly into your own administrator account, which offers many tools, including the ability to:
- Set expense policies so no unapproved expense types (or amounts) get accepted.
- Orchestrate cash advances.
- Create reports that provide information about past and current trips so you can make better business decisions about future travel.
Travel itinerary assistance.
One of the most popular apps serves as a travel agent, too. You will be able to search for flights, hotels, etc., and book them.
Fast, easy reimbursements.
Once you approve expense reports, you will be able to reimburse employees quickly – sometimes as soon as the next day.
Full visibility in QuickBooks.
Of course, data collected by the app will become part of your QuickBooks accounting records – in real time.
A Precise Process
Intuit maintains an online directory of apps that can be integrated with QuickBooks; you will find it here. It’s organized by category, so you might take a look sometime and see if there’s an area of QuickBooks that needs amplifying for your business. There are a number of expense-tracking solutions included here; three of the most popular are Expensify, SAP Concur, and Tallie.
If you decide to invest time and money in a travel expense solution, we can help you get it installed, integrated with QuickBooks, and running smoothly. Connecting apps to QuickBooks Online is usually fairly intuitive, but desktop QuickBooks connections can be more complicated. Contact us to schedule a consultation, and we’ll help you automate and streamline your expense reporting – minimizing costs and work time in the process.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LAUREN HARRIS + SENIOR ACCOUNTANT
Lauren Harris is a Senior Accountant in the Client Accounting Services department at Lutz with over two years of related experience. She provides payroll tax reporting and compliance, as well as outsourced accounting assistance to small businesses through QuickBooks support and training.
AREAS OF FOCUS
- QuickBooks Training & Support
- Outsourced Accounting
- Payroll Tax Reporting and Compliance
AFFILIATIONS AND CREDENTIALS
- Certified Public Accountant
- BSBA in Finance and Accounting, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE
- Midwest YouCan Foundation, Treasurer
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