megaphone

Blog

Sharing insight, expertise and best practice on business travel management

Author archive for

Expense Management - Balancing control with traveller satisfaction fulfilment

Expense 1 AndyIn today`s corporate travel booking landscape, we can clearly see a large shift towards people becoming more self-sufficient when booking their own travel requirements.

These trends show that providing your employees with the autonomy to book their travel independently, whilst linked to a business travel and expense policy may be important but must be backed up by an approval process and procedure for your finance function to control and have visibility over, especially when it comes to managing the expenses associated with business trips.

Good Travel Management - How to automate travel and expense management

Around 80% of business actually rely on Travel and Expense Management (TEM) data, entered by individual travellers post business trip in order to gain visibility to expense spend.

The following table shows the typical flow of a business trip from start to finish, whereby an organisation is still using a traditional manual expense process and the drawbacks created.

Stage of the business trip The Drawbacks The Solution
Booking Travel     
Following authorisation from the traveller's manager, a trip is then normally confirmed by an organisations travel manager / authorised Travel Management Company (TMC). Progressively, employees are engaging autonomously via corporate booking systems, Meta-search engines or directly with suppliers. Through not centralising travel spend via one point, travel expenditure can become decentralised and fragmented. This could create more work for your finance team who will spend extra valuable time trying to capture travel spend and expenses from various sources. By using an approved TMC, businesses can consolidate all of their travel expenditure through one central point with the back up of an integrated TEM solution to capture and control expenses at the same time. This can save your business time and money in controlling all travel spend.
During Business Trip    
The employee takes their trip whilst incurring expenses throughout. Contemporary travellers use mobile functions on their journey to keep up to date with their latest flight and destination information. The traveller makes numerous expenses from taxi `s, meals and drinks whilst on their trip. Purses/ Wallets become inundated with multiple receipts at risk of being lost. Subsequently, the traveller misses out on their expense claim and the business loses track on employee expenditure. Using a Mobile expense receipt upload feature linked to Good Travel Management’s expense system application ‘Fyle’. Travellers can simply take a picture of their receipts which are then sent to approvers “on the go” to authorise. This means there`s no need to carry around paper receipts, or risk losing them.
Post Business Trip    
Following the trip, employees ordinarily have to submit their claims with their accompanying receipts. This process is managed manually through a spreadsheet, or via an automated expense system. Manual receipts and data expense uploads into spreadsheets is not a productive use of time by the traveller post trip. A finance team, in addition, will also spend time having to work with paper expenses whilst then uploading the data into finance systems. Using TEM solutions means the removal of the protracted submitting of expenses post trip. As receipts are automatically uploaded into an expense system physical paper is removed from the expense process. The data can be revisited at any point to track and control costs.  Time is also saved by noting having to complete spreadsheets.
Authorisation of Expenses     
The claim, is routed via an approval process, this includes managers, and finance before the claim is subsequently reimbursed. A paper-based process can prove to be protracted and prone to error. Using TEM solutions, approvers can quickly and easily approve or reject expense claims via both the mobile application and web-based platforms. This streamlines and speeds up the expense process.
The Reimbursement    
The Traveller is subsequently paid for their expenses related to their trip which is incurred on the next payment cycle The payment of expenses is only subject to the traveller submitting their expenses before a set deadline As the traveller has been able to submit their expenses on the go, it's likely the traveller will be able to claim their expenses in a much timely manner meeting their set deadline.
The Reporting    
The finance department need access to (TEM) reports which not only ensures compliance with HMRC and UK Law, but a business can identify cash flow requirements whilst identifying spend trends. The reporting of expenses using traditional paper methods is subject to looking back at old paper documents or excel sheets. This creates additional time when trying to audit.

TEM Solutions provide finance managers, travellers and approvers with visibility to previous expenses providing visibility to past spend with invoice capture for UK VAT reclaim purposes.

 

If your business is currently using a paper-based or spreadsheet method to track expenses, then maybe it’s time to think about using a simple automated Travel and Expense Management solution.

For more information on Travel and Expense Management tools provided by Good Travel Management give us a call:

0330 004 0520

 Good Travel Management - How to automate travel and expense management

About Andrew Sison

Andy is our Strategic Account Manager and works with a number of high profile businesses to manage their business travel more effectively. Andy’s track record is enviable and he works hard to deliver savings, add value, help companies consolidate their travel programmes and manage change.
More by Andrew Sison