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Corporate Travel Management – 3 Min Read

How Navan India solves T&E challenges for CFOs and Admins

Sajit Chacko

Sajit Chacko


Tripeur Travel Desk
Some of the primary duties of the CFO are increasing revenues, maintaining optimal budgets, financial planning & analysis, mergers & acquisitions, and securing corporate funding. 

While these are only a few critical tasks, their actual duties are much broader. Admins also have a long list of responsibilities, which can often be overwhelming. 

It is a considerable challenge for CFOs and Admins to perform their tasks adequately with the constant hindrance of T&E-related issues. 

This article aims to shed light on a better way to solve these challenges and make T&E less of a burden on the CFO and admins, enabling them to focus more on outperforming their critical responsibilities.   

The challenges faced by CFOs and Admins

During our journey to revolutionize corporate travel for all business sizes, our research came across these most commonly occurring challenges that CFOs and Admins faced with T&E management:

Disparate systems

Legacy systems need to collect accurate data to perform analysis properly. Failure to do so hinders the company’s ability to leverage rich data to yield actionable insights that can improve business efficiency and performance. 

When engaged in disparate systems, the improper practice of relying on multiple data sources is a significant problem. Remember, unifying systems and data to maintain a single data source reduces redundancies and inefficiencies while improving the accuracy of reporting and reconciliation. 

By unifying data, businesses can make all necessary information readily available to stakeholders at the click of a button, eliminating the need for manual processing or disconnected spreadsheets. 

Vendor management

With legacy systems, effective vendor management is a challenge that requires an adept admin team. The admin’s job is coordinating with vendors, managing all transactions, and providing support to employees. 

This support is in the form of getting travel services done through the respective vendors, where the admin team acts as the front for corporate travel. Here, the CFO reviews all the expenses at the end of the month. 

For this review to happen, the admins must go back to the vendors and request the monthly MIS, and upon receiving it, they must validate that it is correct with each invoice. This scrutiny is a manual and time-consuming task that requires the admin team to designate dedicated individuals with the sole responsibility of doing item-by-item reconciliation and generating expense reports. 

The admin team then documents the resulting information into a basic spreadsheet template provided by the CFO. The spreadsheet is forwarded to the respective finance team and posted onto the finance system. 

During this process, three troublesome problems occur for the CFO. Firstly the entire process of collecting and verifying invoices is outdated and burdensome. 

Second, everybody knows it’s difficult to accurately conduct post-facto verification without the correct accompanying information to avoid randomly approving expenses. For instance, if the transport vendor gives you 200 cab invoices, each indicating that the vehicle transported the employee for a distance of 100-200 kilometers. 

How does one verify whether the number of kilometers the cab vendor alleges in the invoice is correct? They can only do this with a deep investigative dive into each commute. 

The problem in relying on an entirely trust-based system is that the traveling employee who avails the cab and, ultimately, the company that pays for it are two different entities that do not communicate with each other during the time of the local commute. 

Connecting expenses to cost centers

When businesses lack intelligent ERP software, there is often a lot of confusion and guesswork involved in assigning expenditures to their appropriate cost centers. When this occurs, companies end up approving or disapproving travel transactions inaccurately to speed up the post-travel reconciliation process. 

Tripeur instead offers innovative ERP solutions that allow employees to directly upload all invoices in real-time to the correct cost centers decreasing the probability of inaccurate reporting. 

By doing so, CFOs and Admin always have a clear picture of all cost centers, allowing for better decision-making, devising optimal budgets, reducing the reliance on physical bills, and improving the overall corporate T&E management and reconciliation process. 

Unauthorized travel bookings

Travel-based expenses for the company occur for the CFO long after the employee completes the travel. These expenses arise because the finance department is responsible for going through all travel bookings and associated costs while checking if they are authorized and adhering to the company’s travel policy. 

When an employee makes a travel booking that isn’t allowed per the travel policy, they fail to qualify for reimbursement. This action could cause financial damage to the employee while creating a loss of morale that could affect travel and business productivity. 

Such instances also require extensive scrutiny from the respective finance teams to determine the booking legitimacy and increase the reconciliation time from days to months. 

During this time, the employer may additionally lose out on GST input credits. When dealing with corporate travel, it is best not to rely on a trust-based booking system as they are prone to human error and, in some cases, even fraud. 

Late travel reports

Delayed expense reports are known to have potentially disastrous financial ramifications. We have observed that one of the most significant causes of reporting delays is relying on manual invoices. 

These invoices take up considerable storage space and must manually be reviewed and entered into a spreadsheet-based system. 

While the average transaction volume of trip-based expenses is upwards of 400 transactions, it makes it a tedious and time-consuming task to go through each one individually, which often causes multiple discrepancies. Not only does the finance team suffer during these occurrences, but so does the employee. 

Consider an employee who made numerous justified expenses during the travel on their credit card and is awaiting the deserving reimbursements as stated in the company travel policy. 

In such situations, manual paper-based reporting systems can delay the process to an extent where the employees incur late payment charges to their cards for failure to pay on time, for which they will fail to receive reimbursements. 

Another problem that CFOs and their accounting departments may face is the inability to create precise audit trails due to incorrect invoice gathering and reporting. It is valuable advice for CFOs to explore all innovative modern means available to prevent these occurrences.

How Tripeur simplifies T&E management

Now that we know the most common problems facing CFOs and Admins let us look at how we believe Tripeur’s features help mitigate them.

Unified system

Tripeur’s system can help businesses achieve all this while improving the quality of strategic decision-making and achieving business objectives. 

The best advantage of our single data source is that it makes the financial statements accurate and easily auditable for the CFO and finance team. 

Host of vendors to choose from

Through Tripeur’s platform, you need not rely on making messy multiple bookings through numerous vendors. Instead, our platform offers a user-friendly interface that has a broad selection of vendors to choose from for all manners of travel-related bookings. 

Tripeur always provides companies with the cheapest options that can be booked within minutes. Never again will you pay inflated prices due to delays in acquiring the necessary approvals to make bookings. 

These delays will not occur because the appropriate permissions and authorizations can be instantaneously relayed between the CFOs, admins, vendors, and traveling employees within our platform. 

With our system, you avoid paying increased costs due to external booking engines prioritizing sponsored options while hiding away or omitting the cheap options.

Easier reconciliation

The current paper-based processes employed by legacy systems need consistent, standardized formats for organizational stakeholders to follow. Otherwise, non-standardized practices must deal with the numerous discrepancies that arise due to the confusion caused by redundancies and tedious spreadsheets. 

More errors occur when manually filling out these tiresome spreadsheets, which often have technical jargon and complex forms that may not always be easy to answer, causing inaccurate entries that significantly delay reconciliation.

Enforce travel policy

Corporate travel policies are effective only if they are visible and enforced to all stakeholders. It is a significant challenge for businesses to achieve this because most legacy systems document and distribute their travel policy to the traveling employees through complicated and confusing documentation that may need to be more comprehensible to the reader. 

On the other hand, Tripeur’s platform simplifies the delivery of the corporate travel policy with its simple and user-friendly UI that makes all the do’s and don’ts readily available through a simple mobile application. 

This interface provides all the essential travel information and guidelines and enables CFOs and admins to maintain real-time policy compliance during all trip stages. When an expense is non-compliant with the travel policy, the CFO and administrators are instantly alerted so they can take appropriate action to guarantee that it does not occur again. 

It also allows CFOs to enforce an optimal budget by setting expenditure limits on all travel cost centers to curb employee expenses and ensure that the travel stays within the budget.

Real-time visibility

Tripeur’s system improves the entire corporate travel ecosystem to provide users with a seamless, efficient, and transparent experience. Our platform enables businesses to streamline workflow, transaction logs, policies, and MIS reports while making them entirely transparent to all stakeholders. 

On our platform, every recorded travel transaction appears on our system with informative details, so at any point, the finance department can see the MIS and make better decisions. 

For instance, when there is a flight ticket invoice, the finance department can see in real-time the amount, the fare breakup, the employee who requested it, and the company authority that approved it. 

Our system also offers details on employee entitlements, whether the employee booked the cheapest option available, and if not, try and understand why didn’t they select the better choice. 

The fundamental advantage behind our platform’s design is that the CFO does not need to go to anybody to check if the best practices were followed during all stages of the corporate travel process. The admin can get a picture of the expenses before invoice submission, meaning, they can view it in real time. 

And finally, the finance does not have to depend on the admin to submit this report as they can directly download it. Our system is a great way to increase operational efficiency and reduce delays.

Switch to Tripeur for streamlined T&E management

The primary focus at Tripeur has always been to design our products and modules with specific consideration of customer needs. Speaking to the CFOs and Admins of our biggest clients, we learned of all the major issues plaguing them and a demand to rectify them. 

This demand led us to develop and build a full-scale T&E expense module that provides a robust solution that addresses, solves, and simplifies all challenges facing T&E reconciliation once and for all. 

Tripeur and its expense module helps keeps the CFO, Admins, and finance department in the loop through expenditure alerts and reports through all stages of the travel booking experience. 

Our user-friendly software can perpetually fix your corporate travel inefficiencies and simplify T&E expense management and reconciliation like never before while significantly lowering costs. Contact us to find out more. 

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