Real Benefits From Travel & Expense Management.For your company to truly reap the benefits of a structured business travel policy, it must first focus on one thing: compliance. Unfortunately, while the explosion of convenient self-service booking tools gives you more freedom of choice, it also makes compliance much more difficult. Any technology that enhances policy compliance is valuable; it will save your company money and reap the benefits of business travel.
The variety of self-booking engine options available today makes compliance by denying access a very difficult protocol to enforce. What you really need is a channel through which 100% of your corporate travel must pass. In the corporate world, the only viable channel is the payment mechanism – getting paid is the last level. If you use a corporate credit card as a payment mechanism, supported by an expense management solution, and providers that can report a fair amount of data to you, you have a very good chance of helping. compliance goals.
Compliance Friendly Expense Management (EMS) Solution
A cost management solution that processes card transactions (and has a proper workflow) that requires travelers to personally prove any policy deviations to their custodians – transaction per transaction transaction. Equally important, stored personal transactions provide the travel business manager with the ability to perform spend analysis and examine individual and aggregate behaviors.
Extracting Real Benefits From Travel & Expense Management.You could argue it’s after the law, but it still encourages compliance. As with all card-based procurement systems, if an employee repeatedly violates company policy, they may be subject to penalties (e.g., card withdrawal, formal warning, contract termination, etc.). ). The threat of negative consequences serves as a deterrent to card misuse, thereby increasing compliance.
Benefits of Policy Compliance
80% of the business benefits of business travel will come from following a travel policy. This requires:
• Reasonable policies and procedures;
• Global communication strategy;
• A portal through which all activities can be conveyed (cards and expense management solutions); and
• Tools to monitor and measure compliance.
There will also be peripheral benefits to be gained from a pre-travel expense management solution:
• Travelers can use the workflow component of an expense management solution to create travel approvals and claims records instead of using something less structured like email. • Thanks to the expense management solution, travelers can create a “commitment” sheet at the time of booking to reconcile the credit card transaction later when it is done.
• You can download travel data from your TMC and travelers can try to match this data with travel card transactions, reducing the amount of manual input from the travel coordinator.
• An expense management solution that provides travelers with a real-time commitment log beyond what can be recorded in a personal diary.
How does this apply to your business?
When considering the business case for this exercise, you need to look closely at several factors to determine the benefits you will actually realize:
• There are no industry-wide standards and the market tends to function as a series of isolated closed loops of suppliers – your efficiency will be higher if you can run your business entirely within a closed loop. Whether you can get the most purchasing power in this environment is up to you.
• You place importance on understanding the cumulative value of booked but unpaid trips.
• The extent to which you can get the data you need from your travelers through the TMC feed, and so you can save keystrokes for those travelers.
• The productivity you’ll get for travelers by entering trip details into your Expense Management Solution (EMS) at the time of booking rather than when the card transaction arrives.
The combination of e-travel and expense management is an important subset of eProcurement and it faces the same challenges that all eProcurement initiatives have faced over the past 10 years – industry standards, supplier involvement and a homogeneous marketplace.
Until all these factors are in place, the greatest benefit will be obtained by companies focusing on the big picture where they can achieve maximum purchase value with consistent purchasing power. management – often based on the ability to perform analysis of spending habits and behaviors.