The tedious work of travel planning can make even the most excited employees groan in misery. The planning checklist for a business trip is much more involved than the average person may think.
- Determine travel dates
- Check for the least expensive airfare
- Confirm flight and seat availability
- Check with management for permission to book the trip
- Re-check flight and seat availability
- Book the flight
- Print the receipt, fill out the expense form
- Get management reimbursement approval
- Submit reimbursement request
Then employees must do all of these steps again for a rental car and a hotel, being sure to keep all the paper receipts for filing another expense reimbursement form when they return.
Travel planning does not have to be so arduous. There are ways to automate and expedite the process without disrupting business processes or rules.
The following three steps can make your travel planning more efficient:
Consistency is king. Make sure all of your employees follow the same travel planning process. There are employees who have their particular preferences, but it is important that everyone abide by your business rules and use your preferred travel providers. Enforcing these rules will give your business more negotiating power.
Clean up approval processing. Adding automated pre-approval steps based on your business rules simplifies the approval process and requires only a review by the authorized manager to sign off. There should no longer be a need to go back and forth with the traveler to determine whether the trip criteria are valid.
- Credit cards made easy.Leverage automated credit card transaction downloads and scanned receipts to make organization and submission more streamlined and a lot less confusing.
The benefits of improving your travel planning process make it a win for everyone involved:
Business travelers can get on with their real jobs and not have to worry as much about approvals, reimbursements and organizing receipts
Managers can quickly examine and approve travel requests in minutes instead of hours
- Accounting departments have all of the documentation they need to properly record travel and expenses
There is no need for anyone to toil over travel planning. Implementing expense management software will allow you to keep your business focused on what is important.
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.