So you have a upcoming business trip, you need to get there, stay for the duration of the trip and need to sustain yourself. Therefore you’ll need to book a flight, stay in a hotel and eat (most likely) at restaurants or self-cater. So what can you put under expenses? We show you what are the dos and don’ts of expenses and how to become an expert with expenses.
Book your flight and hotel
So first, before even thinking about making an expenses claim, you need to book your flight and hotel. Choosing a flight can be tricky. What is your company policy; do they allow business class travel for flights longer than four hours? How flexible can your ticket be? Might you need to change your plans change last minute (I.e meeting or interview cancelled)?
Once you have booked your flights, then you need to book a hotel room. Some companies may also allow corporate Air Bnb bookings so you can self cater. Do you need to be near an exhibition center or business park? Or do you need to stay near a transport hub like an airport? When all your travel and accommodation has been booked and confirmed, then you need to be on your way.
Claim your expenses
When you have returned from your business trip, you can then begin claiming expenses for this trip. What can you claim, and what can’t you claim? The general rule of thumb is, if you have done something on behalf of your company, you can get your money back. For example, if you flew in Business class from New York to San Francisco to be a representative of your company at an exhibition, you can claim for that flight ticket if you show your claims department your booking and how much it was. In addition, if you stayed in a hotel for the duration of the time at the exhibition, you can claim for that. In regards to food and beverages, if the nature of the meal was for a business deal or transaction, then you can claim for it.
Personal consumption (such as having a party for friends whilst in the area) would not be possible to claim expenses on. You will not be able to claim for personal travel or accommodation. For example, if you wanted to take your family on the same trip from New York to San Francisco and then have a vacation after, unless stated, your company would not pay for your family to travel and have a vacation with you. However, if you had booked your flight and hotel to then do some personal travel after e.g. stay for the exhibition and book the flight a few days after to take in account possible personal travel, and was permissible, then it could be reclaimed.
Claiming expenses requires you to know what is allowed to claim back and what is not allowed. As long as you know your company policy about expenses, you can book some personal travel to a certain extent.
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