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What to do as a CFO to improve business travel ROI

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Corporate travel has a significant impact on your company's return on investment (ROI) and you can improve business travel ROI by actively identifying what changes need to be made.

Lead by example, be a team player and understand the cause behind employee overspending, inefficient trips and decreased productivity among business travellers.

Adhere to your company's travel policy

Lead by example - this should be the way you wish to inspire others to comply with that new travel policy you recently announced. The example you set as a top executive is critical for the success of your measures towards business travel savings.

If you want to see everyone motivated to save more during business trips, then be an active part of the implementation process of your new travel policy and show your employees business travel best practices from your own actions or experience.   

Collaborate with the travel manager

An effective relationship between you and your travel manager is very important for implementing the new travel policy successfully. Trust your travel manager when he or she suggests new travel policy changes or improvements. They have detailed information regarding the status of your travel expenses and are able to identify valuable insights that can turn into new tactics to help you reduce corporate travel costs. As CFO, just be sure to meet and discuss policy improvements regularly.

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Keep productivity and motivation in mind 

Eliminating business class benefits, reducing the number of trips or the number of travel team members might generate immediate savings, but it is really not sustainable and will certainly negatively affect the productivity and motivation of your corporate travellers. Just think of the demanding work program that some of your employees already have. Cutting business class flights might affect their productivity and, in the end, the success of their business trip.

There are multiple alternatives that can bring considerable cost savings, and many of them are easy to identify when your company is using a travel & expense management tool. You will have access to valuable data, and automation will give your employees more time to focus on what is really important in order to achieve their goals.

Understand employee behavior during business trips

Some of your employees might love travelling, some might not. Some might show travel friction signs earlier than others. But business travelling is demanding for all of them, and when employees get demotivated, frustrated, or dissatisfied with their job or travel experience, their risk of overspending increases.

If you identify this as an increasing trend among your employees, you should immediately ask for feedback and encourage them to be frank about the thoughts they share with you. When you know what's bothering them, you can adjust their travel schedule or corporate trip benefits and thus improve the outcome of every trip.

Use an effective travel management software

Implementing an effective travel management software, one that fits your company's needs, is one of the best decisions a CFO can make to obtain the highest ROI from corporate trips.

Using the right technology and automating tasks which waste time and energy has a lot of benefits such as: increased visibility, compliance with the travel policy, better control over taxes, less errors in your receipt submissions and expense reports, etc. The right travel management software will help you and your team focus more on the tasks that have a direct impact on your company's goals.

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