Travel and expense is the second largest cost for your company, second only to employee remuneration. If your company’s travel policy fails, it will certainly have an impact on your bottom line. Why don’t employees comply with your policy? Why didn’t you succeed in meeting your goals? Why don’t you see the benefits of the technology solutions you chose?
Find out below what mistakes you might be making and learn how to adapt your travel policy in order to meet your objectives.
The travel and expense policy that you defined might be very clear to you, but did you ever ask your travel team, your financial specialists or the employees that take a lot of business trips if it is understandable to them, too? You cannot expect your employees to use the company policy correctly if you ignore the fact that there are gaps and your policy needs revising.
Sit down with your teams and try to have a look at the company policy from their perspective. You might find new ways to prepare for unplanned scenarios and discover new ways to cut out unjustified costs. Make sure everybody understands your objectives and apply simple procedures that everybody can follow.
TIP: Do not make your T&E policy too strict - keep in mind your employees’ needs and try to avoid travel friction - one of the hidden costs of business travelling.
Keep in mind your company's strategy and philosophy when defining your business travel policy. If you want to have an effective policy, be sure to clearly outline the goals you want to achieve with your business trips and be sure to give your employees a voice. You will see that each input you get from your employees will make their life and yours easier.
It is hard to control costs if you never plan your business trips in advance or if there is lack of communication between managers and business travelers in your company and all the expenses are submitted for reimbursement upon return. But, if you plan a trip in advance, you are able to align the costs with your budget and approval will be easier for both your employees and your company regarding the money spent during a business trip.
Technology has an impact on every process in your company and, whether you like it or not, you have to keep up with everything new technology that may influence your company's success. The same applies to your travel and expense management software. If many tasks are still completed manually, you may be losing a lot of time and money on activities that could actually be automated. Always keep an eye out for what is new in the domain of travel and expense management automation and understand how your company could benefit from each new technology or feature.
Do you have access to data that allows you to see whether your policy is effective or not? If you collect your data manually or opted for a less developed software solution, you might not be getting the most out of your efforts. Cutting off travel expenses is an important decision and if it is not supported by data, it might attract even more costs than there are currently. Cost such as the risk of losing a client or an important employee, lack of motivation or concentration or even tension between your teams and departments.
If you are aware of the mistakes you might be making and take the right measures immediately, you will be able to increase the efficiency of your travel and expense policy, bring your teams on the same page and keep your costs under control and your employees happy. And, last but not least - an automated T&E management solution will certainly give you a clearer picture on everything related to business travel cists and data to document your decisions.