For organizations to remain strong when the coronavirus pandemic begins to ease, business travel must restart. How can they ensure that employees aren't traveling into infection hot spots?
Many organizations have negotiated corporate rates with their preferred car rental providers. But with potentially many thousands of rentals each year, how can they verify that each traveler receives the appropriate rates? Chrome River is making it far easier to analyze the data with the launch of FOLIO for car rentals.
While many traveling employees have benefited from automated expense management solutions for several years, one group remains almost universally underserved: non-employees. Abacus REACH helps ease expense issues for this group.
At the heart of every expense management solution is the ability to quickly and accurately extract and make sense of the data on paper and electronic receipts. With the launch of Emburse Receipt Transcription for Chrome River, we're using innovations from across Emburse to get to the next level in intelligent expense management.
A unique travel management role just opened up in London: Director of Royal Travel, based in Buckingham Palace. How would you go about creating a travel program to cater to a group of very important people?
In the era of bleisure travel, ride-sharing and electric scooters, expense policies of old sound positively archaic. Any travel leader who expects their team to follow the policy down to the letter will likely be met with eye rolling and mutterings of “OK Boomer.” How can organizations keep their business travelers happy without killing the bottom line?
Do the travel processes and policies within your organization help or hinder its core goals? Take our quiz to see how your organization's travel culture could impact the bottom line.
German per diems may not suddenly spring to mind as a critical business issue for global organizations. However, if you work in the world of corporate travel, expense or accounting, it can be a major source of angst. Thankfully, help is at hand.
How can organizations use their travel culture to maintain success in a competitive business environment? In this guest blog, Connie Chung, senior director of global product management at Egencia, outlines key research findings that illustrate the benefit of a strong travel culture.
We all know that submitting expenses manually is a bit of a drag. But have you ever considered just how inefficient the entire process is from start to finish? See what the life of an expense looks like, from making the purchase through to getting reimbursed.
We're delighted to announce our latest integration partner, Grab. As the biggest rideshare company in Southeast Asia, Grab serves customers in 320 cities across eight countries.
Chrome River is excited to announce a new relationship with Yatra, India's leading online business travel company. What does this mean for Chrome River, and Indian business travelers?
Tired of having to enter line after line of expense items for a simple overnight hotel stay? You're not alone... and you need not suffer any further, says Karen DeLucia.
There are countless nuances of international business regulations that organizations need to follow. In particular, how can companies ensure that they stay compliant with global statutory requirements for expense reimbursement?
Chrome River and SpotHero have teamed up offer an even easier way for business travelers to find, purchase, and expense parking spaces.
For the team members that are at the core of driving revenue--sales reps, those managing suppliers, key partners, or account managers--frequent travel is imperative to their role and their company’s success. To keep these employees both happy and healthy, it’s critical that employers take steps to look after their team-members’ well-being while on the road. How can companies support this without breaking the bank?
One of the largest groups that travels on business is the trucking and transportation industry. With all of the stressors placed on long-haul drivers, what can fleet operators do to make the expense submission and reimbursement process as smooth as possible?
Companies know how much their employees spend on hotels, flights and meals. While this information may help the travel manager, it doesn't help finance or sales leaders to measure how T&E spend impacts revenue generation.
It’s a little over 10 years since the iPhone was launched. Many things have changed in the business travel world since then, but few have had as much of an impact on travelers' productivity as the ubiquitous mobile phone.
As a result of new U.S. and UK legislation, some business travelers may choose to leave their laptops at home. What would happen, though, if you also accidentally left your wallet at home? Could you survive life on the road paying for everything with a mobile phone?
Any expense management solution worth its salt these days will tout its mobile capabilities. Most of these solutions will highlight their iPhone or Android apps as a key selling point. However, for the both hard-pressed business traveler and the company for whom they work, apps aren’t always the best solution.
Business travel is a topic that can engender huge differences in opinion among those whose jobs require them to spend time on the road. For some, it’s viewed as a perk, for others, a burden. Regardless of whether your employees love or loathe life on the road, it's essential to optimize the traveler experience.
With countless different line items such as food, parking and high-speed internet, hotel folios can be a pain to enter into expense reports - especially when your expense management provider doesn't take info from a certain hotel chain. Chrome River FOLIO solves this challenge with a single click.
There has been a lot of discussion in the business software market about the benefits of browser-based, responsive web (RWD) apps versus native Android and iOS apps. Even though there is evidence showing that more and more organizations are moving toward RWD for mobile software deployment, the debate continues as to which is better, just like Mac vs. Windows, Peyton vs. Tom and Pepsi vs. Coke.
Creating and submitting your expenses while on a business trip need not be a drain on productivity. What are the biggest challenges your users face with their expenses on the road, and how can these be resolved?
In a previous post we spoke a little about the recent GBTA / American Express Business Traveler Sentiment Survey, and the impact of booking and expense policies on business travelers. This week, let’s look at how organizations can best bridge the generation gap when it comes to providing a better experience for their largest (and growing) audience - Millennials.
The Global Business Travel Association recently announced the results of its Business Traveler Sentiment Index Global Report. The report assesses the overall happiness with several aspects of travelers’ overall experience, from making travel arrangements through to getting through airport security and taking various forms of ground and air transport.
Expense management is, by its very nature, one of the business apps with the greatest requirement for deep mobile functionality. Many software solutions are mainly used in-office, and can often get by with relatively limited mobile functionality for consuming data. However, expense management requires a significant amount of creating data while on the road – capturing receipts, creating reports and so on.
Packing a leisure suitcase is easy, or at least a lot easier than packing for a business trip. Not only do you have to carefully choose the right corporate, casual and in-between wear to take, but you have to do your best to ensure the clothes don’t arrive wrinkled, rumpled or otherwise appearing as if they were just fished out of a hamper. Four nifty strategies can help you master the art of business travel packing.
As you may have noticed from today’s announcement made at the GBTA national conference, we are proud to become a Premier Provider of expense reporting for Sabre, one of the world’s biggest travel technology providers. This comes just a couple of weeks after we announced Sabre as the latest travel industry leader to adopt our expense management solution for its own 10,000 global employees.
Just because business travel takes you out of your usual environment doesn’t mean you can ignore appropriate business attire. You still need to look crisp, clean and professional, which you can do with a careful selection of must-have items. Add a few casual options to the mix, and you’ll be ready for action in the boardroom or out on the town.
As you may have seen from today’s press release, we’ve just announced an exciting new relationship with Traxo for hotel receipt integration. This will give Chrome River EXPENSE users an even better (and easier) experience when preparing their expense reports, and we’re sure it will be very well received by anyone who’s ever had to manually import or allocate hotel receipt data into their expense report.
We recently talked about how to keep your business travelers happy while maintaining cost control and avoiding expenses spiraling out of control. One of the biggest challenges many companies face is that those who travel the most are more likely to have specific preferences (hotel chains, airlines, etc.) that may not tally with your organization’s negotiated rates. While this can lead to friction, there are several ways that can both make your road warriors happier and more productive, and also keep the CFO smiling.
While leisure travel can be an ideal time to kick back and let down your guard, your guard had better not be going anywhere during a business trip. As a business traveler, you represent your company during every stage of the journey. Everything you say or do can impact your company’s reputation and your eventual success. You can ensure both the company reputation and your success remain strong by following a few straightforward business trip etiquette tips.
While today’s travel managers may have the power to establish a list of preferred airlines and hotels to create the perfect travel policy, compliance may be less than perfect due to forces outside their control. Online and mobile platforms are consistently disrupting compliance efforts by allowing employees to book alternative accommodations outside the preferred partnerships with a swift click of a button.
Private jets are no longer just for the rich and famous; they are now set to take off in the corporate travel arena. Private jet companies are expanding their offerings to include a wider range of service, booking and corporate agreement options. BusinessTravelNews highlighted four U.S. booking engines, along with the progress they’re making in the way of business travel.
Whether you’ve just finished a week-long trip, or if you’ve been stashing receipts all month, doing your expenses can become one of those monotonous tasks that ranks even below timesheets at the bottom of the to-do list. This means that they get put off, and off, and off, until you reach a point where a) you’re broke and need them to be reimbursed so you can put food on the table, b) your wallet is bulging more than your financial controller’s eyes will once they see how much you’re claiming for the past few months, or c) both of the above.
One heck of a coincidence recently went down in the U.S. airline industry. Three of the largest airlines in the country have altered the way they price fares for multi-city trips, forcing multi-city travelers to shell out hundreds of dollars more if they continue to book multi-city flights.
China already beats out the United States on exports and automobile market size, and now the country has done the same when it comes to business travel spending. Chinese corporate travelers spent more than $291 billion in 2015, roughly $1 billion more than U.S. corporate travelers during that same period. The Global Business Travel Association reports the gap is predicted to widen even further in 2016.
Companies that are scoping out good hotels, great airlines or phenomenal in-flight entertainment options can turn to annual lists that rank the winners in a legion of different categories. One set of winners comes from the UK’s Buying Business Travel Awards, which acknowledge and celebrate the successes of the British travel industry’s outstanding performers over the past 12 months. The other set of winners comes from Entrepreneur magazine, which also serves up an annual listing of top-performing companies that meet or exceed business travelers’ needs.
While more than one-third of corporate travelers typically feel positive about traveling for business, that doesn’t mean they all enjoy a stress-free experience. In fact, a massive 93 percent of business travelers heading to international destinations feel stressed-out at some point along their journey.
A daily allowance of $550 might take you far for a night out on your hometown, but it won’t go all that far at all on business trip in San Francisco. The City by the Bay ranks as the most expensive U.S. business travel location, again, with an average day’s expenditures totaled at $547.34.
Travelers across the world are still feeling the after-effects of the Brussels bombings in the form of heightened security across the board. Many international airports, key transit systems and high-profile areas have beefed up their safety measures as a routine precaution, even without a specific threat of attack.
While travel managers can often negotiate preferred rates with hotels and even airlines, the same strategy typically doesn’t work with restaurants. Getting your business travelers to eat at preferred restaurants can be a major headache, as can tracking and managing dining expenses that come from a vast variety of different eateries.
Anyone who has looked at some of the perks that companies offer will understand that any forward-thinking organization places a premium on attracting and retaining the best talent. When you factor that it costs an average of 6-9 months’ salary to replace an employee, spending a little extra to keep your team happy is a sound investment. The hard cost of employee turnover is, of course, just one issue here. Companies’ ability to thrive is reliant upon attracting and retaining the best talent. Being unable to keep and hire staff can have a seriously detrimental impact on an organization’s overall health.
Many business travelers may choose their hotels based on one part expense policy compliance, one part colleague input, and one part online reviews. But if looking at online reviews means glancing at the overall numerical or star rating average for the hotel, they could be missing out on some key information that could make or break their stay.
Would you feel safer or spied-upon if your boss tracked your mobile device with GPS while you were on a business trip? The answer largely depends upon where you may be heading, with 94 percent of travelers surveyed by Business Travel News saying they’d have no problems with tracking if they were heading into a high-risk area.
Some business travelers may be so used to hitting the road that they do so without even thinking. But that’s where you can get into trouble, perhaps forgetting one of the foremost business trip survival tips that can always make your trip go much more smoothly.
Whether you call it by its scientific name of “flight dysrhythmia” or refer to it as plain ol’ jet lag, the condition can really wreak havoc on your next business trip. Try these tips to help your body adjust as quickly as possible.
Even though the mosquito-borne Zika virus has the world on high alert, global business travel appears to be buzzing along as usual. In fact, one Latin America-focused travel agency was quoted as not having seen any reduction in new bookings, nor cancellations of existing ones since the recent cases have been reported. Other industry insiders say corporate travel patterns are remaining consistent, although there has been in increase in the level of concern about the virus, particularly for businesswomen.
Cost control has long been the top priority of companies that travel, but that was no longer the case in 2015. Results from Global Business Travel’s 2015 EVP Barometer found that safety and security have risen to the top of the list, followed by cost control and employee satisfaction. Other interesting tidbits from the annual report include a greater-than-anticipated travel spending increase in 2015 and compelling trends for 2016.
Business travel nets many companies nearly a 4-to-1 return on their investment, and you can do the same if you travel right. Traveling right means taking stock of a trip’s potential costs, potential income, and engaging in a few strategies that can help you make the most of your trip.
Generous business mileage reimbursement rates are a thing of the past, thanks to the IRS revamping the rates for 2016. The new, lowered mileage reimbursement rate for a business vehicle is 54 cents per mile, down a full 3.5 cents from last year’s 57.5 cents per mile. The new rate took effect Jan. 1. Although the mileage reimbursement has decreased by 3.5 cents, the average price of a gallon of gas has fallen from $3.50 a gallon in August of 2014 to $1.77 in February of 2016. That’s over a 50% decrease in the price of gas so even at 54 cents per mile you’ll get a good bang for your buck (or half buck).
Although business travelers are largely embracing service options available through the sharing economy, not all companies are equally as keen on the concept. In fact, a recent survey found a notable percentage of businesses outright prohibit the use of non-traditional lodging services, and car rentals still beat out ridesharing services when it comes to ground transportation options.
Wi-Fi has become such a necessity that 45 percent of business travelers who use it would actually be willing to go through the arduous security screening twice in exchange for a flight with a more reliable connection. Sixty-six percent of travelers were influenced by Wi-Fi options when choosing their flights, 22 percent have paid more for a flight just to get Wi-Fi, and 29 percent would give up their confirmed ticket for a standby on a flight with faster Wi-Fi.
Ever imagine what a business trip would be like without your smartphone? Most of us would shudder at the thought. Business traveler and VentureBeat columnist John Koetsier actually lived through the experience. And he promises it wasn’t a very enjoyable one. To put it as bluntly as he did, the words he used were: “It sucks.”
Mobile technology already has such an impact on business travel that most travelers say Wi-Fi is the most precious piece of mobile tech that aids in productivity while traveling. In fact, a majority of corporate travelers from many countries say it’s absolutely vital during every business trip.
When it comes to travel expenses, the big consideration is not necessarily about spending more or less – it’s about spending differently. But changing spending habits to ensure companies are efficiently meeting their goals may be easier said than done, according to a CFO Research and SAP study. The study collected info from 173 finance executives at midsize and large firms across Europe and North America.
A worldwide travel alert was put in place by the US State Department, encouraging travelers to remain vigilant for terrorist attacks when heading out of the United States. The alert was issued Nov. 23 in the wake of attacks in France, Mali, Denmark, Turkey and Nigeria, along with the suspected terrorist bombing of a Russian airline in Egypt. The alert is set to expire Feb. 24, 2016. This is the first worldwide travel alert issued since 2013.
European business travel is primed to experience its greatest increase in the past half-decade, according to a Global Business Travel Association study, and its rise is bolstering economic hopes for Europe right along with it.
With lengthy delays, flight cancellations and layovers that can last longer than the average workday, airports may appear on the surface a prime place to sleep. Yet the goal of getting some shut-eye can be a tough one to achieve.
The experience your employees have while on the road can have a huge impact on the outcome of their trips. Frazzled, fatigued and irritable travelers are not likely to be highly effective at their seminars or meetings. Eye for Travel serves up seven facts that underscore the importance of balancing business objectives with business traveler satisfaction.
You know the price of an airline ticket includes taxes, but did you also know even Americans who never fly are supporting US carriers through their tax dollars at work? Licensed aircraft dispatcher and USA Today contributor Bill McGee pointed this out in a recent column, making some intriguing points along the way.
A 1969 trip to the moon and back is nothing like the average business trip these days, especially when it comes to cost. That’s because astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s total travel expense report for the lunar mission was $33.31 – only a shade higher than many airlines’ current fees for checking your luggage. The lunar mission’s cost and other fun facts were recently tweeted by Aldrin in honor of the 46th anniversary of the July 20th mission.
Corporate meetings and networking breakfasts aren’t the only activities done on business trips, according to a SpringHill Suites by Marriott study. The millennial generation is using business trips as a way to let go, let loose and have tons of fun. Just how are they doing that? Why, by creating false identities, maximizing “me” time, escaping the mundane and indulging in a variety of activities.
Even if you’re the coolest, calmest person when you’re on the ground, air travel has a way of making people enraged. Perhaps it’s the lack of legroom, the screaming children or the fellow passenger with really bad breath that won’t stop talking about his Velcro allergy. You can’t very well hop off the plane in mid-flight, but you can try one or more calming strategies recommended by Fodor’s Travel editor-in-chief Arabella Bowen.
Unless you’ve heard an earful of complaints or undying praise from your business travelers, it may be tough to gauge how they really feel about their business trips. Carlson Wagonlit Travel answers that question with a massive survey of 10,000 business folks who travel on a regular basis.
Business travel is growing in new and exciting directions, as evidenced by this year’s Best in Business Travel awards from Entrepreneur magazine. With the awards, the mag showcases the hottest innovations going on in the world of corporate travel, and we chose four of the most relevant to the average business traveler.
Even if your company’s travel program is good, you can probably make it better. A handful of savvy tips from BizBash can save your company and travelers’ time, money and grief while improving the overall travel experience.
In the mad dash to restock their pockets after the airport security screening process, it’s not uncommon for folks to leave a few things behind. When those few things happen to be spare coins, it can add up to a lot of cash. Make that $674,841.06 worth of cash, which is the amount travelers left behind in US airports in the most recent fiscal year, according to numbers released by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Although corporate travel is largely bouncing back after a big dip due to the 2008 recession, all those business travel perks are not coming back along with it. Business travel spending is up and trip counts are up, USA Today reports, but companies are still putting on the brakes when it comes to keeping the expenses on the lowest end of the scale.
Despite the horror stories of luggage ending up in Las Palmas when the passenger connected to it was traveling to Las Vegas, the truth about lost and mishandled baggage may not be as scary as you think. Or at least it’s improved vastly since 2007, according to report released by the airline IT vendor SITA.
People in general aren’t typically too keen on the idea of someone tracking their every move. But when it comes to business travel, tracking can be an essential part of travel management. This especially holds true when employees are traveling to areas known for civil unrest, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, weather-related disruptions and disease outbreaks.
If your business traveling employees came to you with a bill for $611 per day for each day they were away, you’d probably tell them to go fly a kite. But such daily expenses would be right on target if they had been on a business trip in ....
Traveling across the globe can be a thrill – even when it’s done for business. But it can also be challenging, particularly for the 40 percent of women who make up the global corporate traveler sector. USA Today outlines a handful of tips designed to help the sophisticated woman traveler conquer those challenges.
Travel-related websites have been hit hard with data breaches over the past few months, with hackers infiltrating more than 20 sites. Two of them were United Airlines and American Airlines, TechWorld reports, and it’s not necessarily your personal information the hackers are after. These guys want your miles.
Many companies have employees who regularly travel for business. Top execs may need to be on-site to manage multiple offices, specialists may need to attend conferences and give workshops, and sales, customer service, and technical support reps may need to visit customers to generate sales and foster business-client relationships.
Airline travelers currently getting the go-ahead by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) staff to go through the PreCheck (or Pre√) security free of charge will soon be back in the regular line. For those unfamiliar with PreCheck, the TSA Pre√ program makes it easier and faster for travelers to go through pre-flight airport security screening. Fliers signed up with TSA Pre√ keep their belts, shoes and lightweight outerwear on and don’t need to walk through body scanner machines. They also don’t have to take their laptop out of its carry case and can leave toiletries inside their carry-on bag. These simple steps have done much to speed people through security at 118 U.S. airports.
In July, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), a trade organization for corporate travel and expense managers, held its annual meeting in Los Angeles, California. Topics that generated the most buzz at the meeting were the huge increase in corporate travel globally and the risks of managing corporate travelers across disparate global destinations.
With employee travel and entertainment (T&E) spending accounting for up to 6% of total corporate costs and continuing to increase, it's wise for companies to monitor T&E spending. Lack of careful T&E oversight can open the door to fraud, policy violations and corporate waste. Consider the tips below to keep your corporate T&E spending in check.
Expense accounts used to mean lunching at trendy bistros and dining with martinis and wine. Not anymore. Corporate workers have shifted from expensing restaurants that are high and mighty to those that are fast and cheap. The overall average cost of an expensed meal these days is around $18, with the top five expensed restaurants listed below.
Need socks, groceries and pet food? Sure, that’s fine. Feel the need to buy some new golf clubs or maybe a teepee? Hey, that’s your concern. Want to gamble on the lottery — or a cosmetic surgery procedure? It’s no big deal until you try to slip them past your employer as expense claims.
Finance departments already routinely use online platforms to collaborate and communicate with users. Now, new mobile apps are proving useful for employees who work on the go, an article on AccountingToday.com reports. Whether your organization needs online expense reporting, document access or just a quick way to look up data, a mobile app may offer the most convenient connection to your accounting department.
On a recent US Airways flight, we pulled into the gate later than our expected arrival time. The flight attendant, no doubt in an effort to sound considerate, asked everyone on the plane to please let those passengers trying to make connecting flights disembark first. I thought, ‘What a ridiculous request! Though I’d be more than happy to oblige, how will the rest of the passengers—all of whom will be jumping out of their seats as soon as we come to a stop—know exactly who among us meets that requirement? Would it be the people who look exhausted, flushed, nauseated or annoyed? That would include everyone!’
There isn’t a business out there that isn’t looking to find a way to operate more efficiently. After all, in the current economic climate, keeping a close eye on the bottom line is more important than ever. You can’t afford to let any efficiency-maintaining opportunity to cut costs slip past. Whether you’re the CEO of a major corporation or operating your own small business, you’re probably looking for ways to streamline your expense management. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure that you have control over who gets to use an expense account and which items are permissible. Too often, companies neglect to ensure that only authorized expenses are reimbursed. It might not seem like much when the costs are only a couple of dollars, but when those dollars are multiplied by various individuals over the course of a year, it can mean a substantial loss. By making sure that you’re controlling what is allowed, you’ll help ensure your bottom line stays strong. If you find that employees are failing to comply, you can provide them with concrete information on reimbursable vs. out-of-pocket expenses. Another way to streamline expense management is setting up an expense overview schedule. Every quarter, take some time to go over the year-to-date expenses, find out which areas are costing the most, and make adjustments accordingly. For example, if you find that lodging is costing more each quarter due to price increases on the hotel end, you can research comparable lodgings at a lower cost. By reviewing expenses on a regular basis, you’ll make sure that you’re not caught off-guard by cost overruns. One of the most effective ways to cut costs and save time is to automate your travel and expense reporting system with a product like Chrome River EXPENSE. Your company might be spending too much time and creating too many problems by using outdated expense reporting procedures. Chrome River EXPENSE shows employees precisely how much they can spend, which expenses will be covered, and when an expense falls outside the guidelines for reimbursement. Having an automated expense system allows you to easily submit expense reports, analyze spending data, and produce proper documentation when it comes time to submit annual budgets and file tax returns.
If you have to travel for your job, you’re probably very aware of how important it is to keep track of your business mileage. You might think that you’re keeping a close eye on the miles, but you might actually be losing money on your travels. To make sure you don't get shortchanged on business mileage, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself. The simplest method of tracking mileage is, of course, good old-fashioned pen and paper. Write down your car’s mileage when you start your trip and when you end it. Or leave yourself voicemails, or send yourself text messages. Of course, things get complicated if you have more than one destination or need to exclude portions of the trip that were not business related. In today’s technologically advanced world, it seems there’s an automated answer for everything. Now, many business travelers use Google Maps to determine the mileage they have traveled. In fact, Chrome River EXPENSE includes Google Maps functionality for calculating mileage for expense-reimbursement purposes. Simply enter the starting and ending addresses for your trip, and Chrome River will automatically calculate how much you should be reimbursed, based on your organization’s rules. You can also calculate mileage between multiple destinations and exclude personal mileage, if necessary. The key to making sure you don’t get shortchanged on business mileage is to keep accurate records. Whether you use a notepad, send a text message to yourself, leave a voicemail on your office phone, or let Chrome River’s Google Maps widget do the work, the important thing is that you make sure you have an accurate record. Doing this prevents problems during an in-house audit and provides useful information when travel budgets are being created for future use.
For casual travelers, the way airlines set fare prices can seem either arbitrary or a conspiracy that combines magic and higher mathematics. But fare prices do follow predictable trends, at least for corporate travel managers. This year, increased demand is expected to drive up airfares for business travelers.
Recently, I was reading BTN Group's 29th annual roundup of "The 25 Most Influential Business Travel Executives of 2012", which recognizes the executives who are shaping the future of the business travel industry. Call them "movers and shakers" or "power players" or "dealmakers"—these are the folks who are driving change, and their list of accomplishments is impressive indeed.
No matter how pervasive conference calls and web meetings have become, sometimes there’s just no substitute for being there in person. But before you fasten your seat belts, business travelers, don’t forget that every dollar spent will be scrutinized by management, clients, et al. So, how do you ensure you’re getting the best bang for your business-travel buck without sacrificing the high level of service you need while traveling and working? Your best bet is to check with the experts: your fellow business travelers. You know you can rely on your peers because their war stories are just like yours. Do any of these sound familiar? You can probably add quite a few of your own!
For many business travelers, a typical business meal consists of an artery-clogging burger and fries at convenient airport pubs, or unappealing, dry and tasteless sandwiches available from refrigerated carts in gate corridors. We’ve found a few smartphone apps that can help you track down healthier, more preferable choices and breathe new life into your travel meal rituals.
Recently I had to self-impose an “unsubscribe” blitz on my emails in order to eliminate the continuous bombardment of reward card promotion and offer “spam” from hotels, airlines, supermarkets and stores where I had taken the bait of signing up for the dream of accumulating points or miles.
Most of us already know that the United States Postal Service is in grave financial trouble due to people communicating more through email, and it is no surprise that runaway travel expenses are also contributing to their huge losses. The agency lost an estimated $16 billion last year, and part of that was more than $1 million in over payment of travel expenses. An expense management software with automated controls, real-time receipt visibility, and built-in expense rules that are automatically enforced could have curtailed the majority of this abuse, helping to cut Postal Service costs.
Managing employee travel expenses can increase the productivity of your employees and can increase management’s visibility into expenses in a timely manner. Below are three ways to help control and manage your expense reporting process.
You don’t have to travel every week to be considered a “road warrior.” Anyone who travels for business on a regular basis will probably agree with the following three tips. And if you are new to the traveling regimen, you might benefit from these nuggets of wisdom.
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.
Now that there is an app for nearly every conceivable function, companies have realized that their second largest expense, travel, can be fully automated – bringing a new level of insight, analysis and negotiation to the ubiquitous expense report. Gone are the days of paper, calculators and spreadsheets for the tedious yet mandatory task of reimbursement. In their place are flashy smartphone apps that track the traveler’s location and purchases and create expense transactions automatically. These mobile solutions are linked to cloud-based expense management systems that provide immediate feedback to the employee when policies have been breached. They also provide high-visibility notification for approvers when compliance conditions are not met, allowing firms to exert greater control over their operating expenses to adhere to client requirements and firm policies. Requiring employees to manually complete expense reports, which not only wastes time but also drives up costs through lost productivity and increased staffing, is no longer a viable option. In today’s economy, it’s either increase productivity or suffer reduced profitability.
After many years as a road warrior, I have noticed that I’ve developed patterns and routines in my business travel to help maximize my efficiency and minimize my stress. If you asked my wife, she might just chalk it up to my being OCD in nature, but these simple tips are now part of my business travel routine:
It seems like every day I hear about a new travel technology, a new pitch from a travel start-up, or a tale of a future where traditional travel-related technology (e.g., expense reporting tools, online booking tools, TMCs) is replaced by a “new-wave,” “Google-ized,” “Big Data,” and/or “artificial intelligence” solution. These new travel technologies are designed to save travelers money and make them more productive, informed, smart, happy and mobile. But quite often, they violate current corporate travel policy. Even I sometimes ignore my company’s policy by using a car service app on my iPhone (my guilty pleasure).
Few would argue with the truism “Numbers don’t lie,” but inaccurate numbers can and do lie all the time. A good example is the vast number of inaccurate numbers that can enter an organization’s financial system via expense reports. Organizations that allow employees to write or type expenses into a form that is manually reviewed and re-entered into the accounting system by a staff member have introduced several opportunities to enter inaccurate information for each transaction.
The quality of your expense reporting speaks to the type of worker you are. Do evaluations reflect frugal or flighty spending, careful or careless tracking, a dinged or distinguished history? Too many tallies in the wrong category can echo negative opinions about professionalism and work ethic. When it’s read in black and white, what do expense reports say about you?
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.