This guest blog post is written by Pete Solomon, Senior Director, Alliance Partners at Chrome River partner, Deem. Deem is a leading mobile and cloud technology provider for the corporate travel industry.
A travel booking platform and an expense platform are two different applications with two different missions: travel booking is focused on finding the optimal travel solutions at the best prices; expense is focused on tracking all the ways employees spend money, travel being only one way.
Why bundle travel and expense? Because a seamless, integrated travel and expense solution saves time for travelers, provides actionable data for organizations to save money, and provides flexibility when plans change. Here are the top three benefits of bundling best-in-breed travel and expense:
Highly Configurable, Fully Integrated Solution. An integrated T&E solution has to work for the organization and for travelers. For the organization, that means being able to set policies based on negotiated agreements and permissions. Combining best-of-breed travel and expense solutions, an organization can tailor permissions and policies and change them whenever needed. Travelers need a clear way to follow the organization’s policies and know their expense reports won’t be denied because of unclear policies.
Implementing an online booking tool should not take IT time, management time, or HR time. And it shouldn’t force you to change your workflows in your expense system, which would have a ripple effect through compliance, SOX reporting, and efficient business operations. Selecting travel booking and expense management systems which have deep integration will ensure that all the behind-the-scenes work has already been done to create a frictionless connection. Leveraging an API connection between the two solutions also means real-time tracking of travel-related expenses.
High Visibility of Data Leads to Actionable Insights. For travelers, pairing best-of-breed travel booking and expense management means saving time by finishing a portion of an expense report before even leaving for a trip, with booking data flowing directly into the expense wallet. And the seamless connection means no need for yet another username and password. These things save time so travelers can focus on their jobs, not filling in expense reports.
For companies, bundling travel booking and expense systems means improved data accuracy on both the amount charged and who is charging the organization. And with this comes enhanced data like ticket number, travel cities, airlines information, and routing. More T&E data means companies can better track travelers for duty of care, policy adherence, and analytics. The richer data feed from the API connection into the expense system means not relying on a travel agency for reporting.
Complete Mobile Functionality. Road warriors rely on their mobile devices. Often, they need to make changes to travel plans while in transit, whether it be sitting on a delayed flight or running through an airport. A T&E solution needs deep mobile functionality to support travelers; a best-in-class travel booking solution does this through web apps. Web apps have the computing power and data storage of a server, so a mobile device user has the same experience as a desktop user. When changing a travel itinerary on-the-fly, a road warrior has access to a full list of flights and hotels, access to any unused tickets in their e-wallet, and the ability to book immediately. And itinerary changes flow directly into the expense app.
These top three benefits deliver a better user experience and enhanced data for corporations and their business travelers. With enhanced data, companies benefit from increased data accuracy and better control of their organization’s spend. And business travelers benefit from saving time and hassle with an integrated solution that makes managing and reporting their travel and expense fast and easy. Deem and Chrome River are excited to offer their integrated solution to companies and their business travelers.
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Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care.
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic.