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3 Tips to Maximize Your Travel Expense Management Program

by Austin Klein

Given today’s cost management and return-on-investment pressures, a corporate expense management strategy is essential to meeting business objectives. Your field workers are traveling – driving and flying to meet new clients to move your business forward.  How are you maximizing their efficiency through travel expense management tools? What about ensuring visibility into your spend?
Now is the time to evaluate your travel expense management program to determine what improvements can be made to ensure maximum efficiency – here’s how:

1) Define your Policy 
A well-designed corporate travel policy protects your employees when they travel, reduces your business travel expenses and limits your legal liabilities. The most successful travel policy is written in plain English and keeps rules simple and clear. 
Best practices indicate organizations that benchmark costs, adhere to travel budgets and automate expense reporting have the highest likelihood of not just containing costs, but drastically reduce their overall spend.
2) Automate your Expense Reporting 
Most of you have had the “pleasure” of working with Microsoft Excel® to submit your expense reports. But there is a better way – automating the expense reporting process allows you to not only reduce manual processes, but also realize direct-spend cost savings. 
Automation ensures compliance of your T&E policy through a standardized approval process while eliminating paper processes and manual data entry for both employees and your finance department. With over 40% of the workforce being mobile, that’s a trend you can’t ignore.
3) Obtain Spend Visibility 
With T&E costs as the second largest discretionary spend category, you need visibility. When using an automated expense reporting tool, travelers can quickly enter business travel expenses and assign them by spend category, upload receipt images and submit expense reports for approval. The automation brings rich business intelligence that can identify spending patterns to be leveraged in supplier negotiations. 
Remember, only 2% of T&E spend is typically spent on support/administration costs, while 98% is spent on direct costs.  It’s important to combine a strong policy with an automated corporate expense management tool to fully realize reductions on your direct spend and maximize your business travel management program. 
Has your company realized success with an improved business travel expense management program? Let us know in the comments below.

Posted 2/7/2013 5:20:39 PM | 0 comments
Tags: travel expense management program, travel policy


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