Throughout my work history, I've traveled extensively for nearly every job role (in the IT consulting world). I was spoiled early in my career by having access to corporate credit cards. This simplified the process of travel, as I only needed to provide explanation of charges in most cases.
I'm now in a role where I work remotely, but need to travel to a central office for one week each month. There wasn't a corporate credit card option when I started, and due to my schedule and a long travel history/traveling preferences, I choose to book my own lodging and flights.
This is a bit awkward, as I've needed to front the travel costs and hotel accommodations in a very expensive city (New York), as well as keep receipts and submit the supporting reimbursement paperwork.
I'm really bad at this... Expensive taxi receipts get lost. Many of the transactions in this particular city are cash-heavy (subway, meals, etc.). Add that my firm wasn't used to having remote employees and did not have a framework to handle this process when I started (They insisted on putting me up at a hotel an hour away from the Manhattan office during my two-week orientation for cost reasons). Instead, I found my own airbnb lodging for longer trips, and negotiate/lock corporate hotel rates for preplanned visits.
There are several other remote employees. They complain that it often takes 6 weeks to be reimbursed for their travel costs. I don't mind floating the money, but it's unreasonable to expect all employees to do so, right?
And finally, since this is New York City, I sometimes try to incorporate personal time during my visits (nice restaurants, theater, music, travel with spouse). This can complicate expenses (e.g. if alone, I may eat out of food trucks, versus a 5-star restaurant with wife). I tend to feel guilty about this, as though I don't want my company to know that I take time to enjoy the City.
- How can I be better about this in general? Any tips for keeping track of all travel costs?
- How do employers typically deal with missing receipts and late submissions of expense reports?
- Does a firm owe anything to an employee who's missed an expense reimbursement cutoff or deadline?
- Is it reasonable for an employee to request an advance or corporate credit card in these instances?
- Are there any suggestions that I should make to the company about streamlining travel costs?