Corporate Travel Management Blogs
Finding the best T&E platform for your business
As corporate travel is gradually returning to normalcy since the global pandemic shutdown, so have some of its most persistent problems.
Unfortunately, for most businesses relying on conventional travel management systems, issues begin during the early stages with mismanaged trip planning and inaccurate travel expense reporting up to the final stages of post facto trip expense reconciliations and reimbursements.
Such issues have a broad range of business repercussions that can needlessly hamper trip productivity and be a significant cost center for the business. Understanding these problems and their causes could help transform how you plan, conduct, and manage your corporate travel more efficiently.
What is travel and expense management software?
T&E management software helps you plan, manage and track travel expenditures like never before. These software solutions are a one-stop shop for accurately managing travel bookings and expenditures while generating automated expense reports directly to the finance department.
Similarly, it allows travelers to efficiently handle and post invoices in real-time, increasing the accuracy of reconciliations with reduced organizational resource dependency. A T&E management platform can also ensure that traveling employees follow the latest company travel policies and guidelines.
Ultimately, travel and expense management software is instrumental in optimizing travel budgets and their utilization.
When is the right time to find a travel and expense management solution?
If you are still determining if it is the right time to switch to a T&E management software, check if you are suffering from some of the typical travel problems that businesses face that hinder their productivity and finances.
Let us explore some of these common issues:
Your business is overspending on corporate travel
If corporate travel is necessary for your business productivity, you should understand that the ramifications that arise from bloated travel budgets can be highly counter-productive. Traditional systems lack the visibility required to devise optimal budgets due to process redundancies and outdated practices, often resulting in inflated travel costs.
Take a gander at your travel expenditures and ascertain if your corporate travel is increasingly becoming a significant cost center that’s drawing resources better suited to serve other core competencies. If yes, consider that your outdated travel management systems may be the root cause of these needless expenses.
On the other hand, an adept T&E management platform can provide the functionality to view all available travel options, from flight tickets to accommodations, allowing you to make smarter decisions that can eliminate needless expenses.
It also allows you to achieve the best bargains designed to suit individual trip needs through strategic partnerships with airline carriers and hotels. Additionally, it allows you to assign appropriate per diems to curb the financial pitfalls of allowing unrestricted travel expenditure.
The increased visibility enables businesses to identify redundancies that make the process more expensive than needed. It also is a great solution to reduce workflow inefficiencies, expenditures, and the duration to plan, execute, and process travel expenses.
T&E automation also helps streamline travel aspects such as invoice collection and expense reporting. This automation simplifies the entire process and reduces errors and inaccuracies that could burden the company financially.
Creating business travel reports is complicated
When you require more time and resources than necessary to create business travel expenditure reports, you should consider if you have employed the right travel management solution.
One of the essential features of corporate T&E management platforms is that they enable travel managers and admins to plan, monitor, and manage travel more effectively. Through automated invoice reporting, employees can digitally upload invoices easily at the time of the expense, providing managers with an accurate real-time depiction of budget utilization.
It is worth noting that manual reporting is an ineffective and inaccurate practice that creates complications that further delay processing reconciliation and reimbursements.
Alternatively, the reduced resource dependency of automated expense reports results in less stress for travel admins and managers. Here, the manager’s life is made simpler, and so is that of the traveling employees because they no longer need to carry bulky invoices and manually enter them into complicated and tedious spreadsheets.
Your corporate travel is inefficient
Most conventional travel management systems fail to convey the company’s travel policy effectively to traveling and non-traveling stakeholders. When this occurs, compliance issues arise because the traveling employees are unaware of their spending limits and what travel aspects they are allowed to spend on.
This lack of clarity can be problematic for reconciliation and ultimately affect reimbursements.
A T&E management software instead provides employees with all the necessary information that enables them always to make the right travel-related decisions that are within the confines of the corporate travel policy.
This software can simplify the booking process and keep all relevant stakeholders updated on all policy changes. A robust T&E management software can also instantaneously alert managers of situations where employees are prematurely approaching their quota limits or in case of any other compliance issues so that the managers can swiftly take corrective measures.
What should you look out for in T&E software?
While there are several T&E software available on the market, only a few successfully provide businesses with a wide range of features and functionalities to catalyze your business travel’s productivity.
So before you choose a platform, it is essential to check if they have the following vital features:
For a T&E management software to be lucrative, it must first be accepted and usable by all stakeholders with minimal resistance. An easily accessible and straightforward user interface is crucial for this to happen because it ensures that all employees understand the platform, its features, and its tools.
This understanding allows employees to get the most out of the platform while eliminating standard booking and reporting errors.
An excellent travel and expense management software should also have a simplified analytics dashboard that provides all stakeholders with updated information in real-time. The user-friendly interface containing the dashboards should offer all the critical travel information at a glance.
It should additionally be capable of seamlessly handling an increase in user onboarding as your company scales.
So, before you select a platform, it is essential that you demo the software and gauge its usability, capability, and adaptability with all the organizational groups that are going to utilize it.
The ability to add multiple users
The multiple-user functionality is a must when employing T&E management software. It allows you to assign specified access controls to different tiers of your organizational members.
Sometimes, even traveling employees have varying travel budgets depending on their designations and objectives. In such instances, multi-user access allows you to assign specific budgets to each traveler and keep track of their expenditures in real time on a granular level.
Additionally, by employing the right travel management software for your corporate travel needs, you can ensure that the proper organizational departments have access to the expenditure data.
Integration of travel policy and compliance
Travel policies are instrumental in maintaining corporate travel’s productivity and feasibility, and for them to be effective traveling stakeholders must adhere to them.
To achieve this, engage in a platform that makes the travel policy clear and visible to all travelers. The best way to accomplish this is to select a T&E management platform that allows integration with the travel policy making it available to all the travel and non-travel stakeholders at every step.
This integration should enforce the policy rules effectively to the traveler and keep them within the confines of their allowed limits and budgets.
Easy reimbursement process
The biggest problem with requiring physical invoices for reconciliation is that these invoices may sometimes get damaged or lost. In such instances, the finance team requires the traveler to acquire duplicate invoices from the source, which could be challenging after trip completion, especially during international travel.
Relying on physical receipt collection, handling, and manual entry hinders reconciliation, subsequently causing delays in processing reimbursements. The failure to procure these invoices can result in the traveling employee failing to receive their entitled refunds.
These delays can further result in inaccuracies in processing reimbursements that may hurt the company, traveler, or both from a financial standpoint. In some cases where reimbursements are not awarded or are lesser than what the employee is realistically entitled to can also damage morale, which may hamper future trip productivity.
On the other hand, the automated expense tracking and invoice scanning functionality offered by good T&E management software providers can help mitigate all these problems relieving the business and its financial teams of the tedious task of collecting, storing, entering, and processing individual receipts.
It frees the financial departments from performing redundant tasks and reduces inaccuracies in the reconciliation and reimbursement process.
An adept platform can significantly reduce the time taken to process and grant reimbursements while maintaining the required documentation on VAT and tax compliance.
Simplify workflow approval and reporting
An integral part of implementing corporate travel is acquiring approvals from travel admins, managers, and c-suites.
Traditional travel management makes this a complex process where the travel requests are relayed between the stakeholders at every stage through tiresome email communications. In such instances, it often takes several days for travel requests to get approved, by which time the prices of securing travel and accommodations increase substantially.
The primary cause here is a strained workflow that begins during the early travel planning and exists along every stage long after trip completion.
A T&E management platform eliminates all these redundant processes and streamlines the travel booking process while automating the invoicing, reporting, and reconciliation with hard-coded workflow rules. Adopting the right software can instantly improve your workflow on day one of implementation.
Integrates with existing workflow seamlessly
You will need a platform that’s capabilities goes beyond just managing travel bookings. Instead, look for a solution acting as a one-stop-shop that allows third-party integration that brings multiple core competencies into one platform.
It is the best way to integrate existing workflows seamlessly without hindrance. Integration capabilities differ from solution to solution, so pick a T&E solution that integrates with everything you need.
The time has never been more ideal for a switch to newer innovative means that can automate and effectively manage corporate T&E.
Automation in the industry paves the way toward seamless automatic expense reporting, accurate reconciliation, and instantaneous reimbursements. It would be wise for SMEs to seek the ideal software solution that can potentially transform how they orchestrate their corporate travel.
Tripeur – The complete Travel & Expense solution
Tripeur’s platform is one such solution that offers 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.
Our T&E management platform 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.