Corporate Travel Management News and Tips

Why Review Your Travel & Expense Program Annually

July 24, 2019 | For Travelers

Why You Should Review Your Travel and Expense Program Annually

According to recent data, the average cost of business travel is $111.7 billion for domestic travel and $31.6 billion for international travel. The cost covers a lot of things, like airfare, accommodations, and other expenses.

All things considered, it can be difficult to manage it all, especially when you are not an expert in corporate travel. This is where the services of a business travel agency will be helpful.

If you want to improve your travel and expense (T&E) policy, partner with a travel management company (TMC). The result? A streamlined process for managing and controlling costs. Moreover, a TMC will analyze the data you have on previous travel spend and make adjustments accordingly in order to:
● keep corporate travel expenses down
● increase profit
● maintain traveler comfort and safety

Here’s why you should consider re-evaluating your T&E policy on an annual basis.

Benefits of Reviewing and Updating Your Travel Policies

Improve policy compliance

Policy compliance is one of the biggest headaches and responsibilities for travel managers. But oftentimes, the rules in place are outdated. When employees are aware that the policies haven’t been updated in years, they’re more likely to “go rogue” when it comes to booking.

With the help of a business travel agency, you can review travel expense metrics and keep tabs on spending. If you see something that is too high compared to the previous assessments, you can look into it and adjust right away.

Save money on your travel spend

A well-managed and updated T&E policy allows you to properly gather spend data and clearly understand the key trends that are affecting travel costs.

Armed with sufficient data, you can make adjustments or negotiate with vendors to save money every time your employees go on a business trip. Your bottom line will benefit from discounts on airfare and hotels.

Optimize vendor relationships and negotiations

With a good travel management company (TMC), you not only improve your T&E policy, but also find the best vendors to meet your travel needs and budget. An updated travel policy will give you the opportunity to leverage negotiated discounts with your suppliers.

These special rates can only be accessed thanks to the negotiations your TMC makes with their preferred vendors. Hotels, airlines, car rentals, credit card companies, and other travel vendors would be willing to grant your request for lower rates to retain customer loyalty.

Match policies with company culture

Like your dress code, your travel and expense policy should match your company culture. This will eliminate the guesswork in corporate travel such as:

● How much am I allowed to spend on airfare, accommodation, food, etc.?
● Can I fly first class or stick to budget airlines?
● Is there a preferred hotel that I should book with?

When redefining your travel policy, work with your employees, listen to feedback, and be flexible. This way, you can come up with a set of guidelines that will make sense for the company and the travelers.

Keep up with industry technology and trends

Travel expense management can become especially difficult if you have an outdated or inefficient technology in place. By reviewing your current policy, you can identify areas for growth and accompanying technology and apps to remedy them. A great TMC will recommend industry-leading technology and the latest trends to help get you there.

Uncover gaps, errors, or outdated policies

Your employees are prone to committing mistakes; they’re human after all. When traveling, their reports might contain errors, like expenses that don’t correspond to the details on the attached receipts, duplicate entries, and missing receipts, to name a few.

Although they’re accidental, these mishaps can be costly. With an updated policy, you can easily spot and review these errors and develop a streamlined system to help prevent such problems.

Uncover potential fraud or misuse of company assets

An average business loses 5% of its revenue to fraud every year, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ survey on business fraud. Unfortunately, a huge part of this loss comes from inflated reports by crafty employees who want to extract more money from their employers.

Working with a business travel agency, you can create a good travel expense management system that detects fraud in multiple ways.

For example, the TMC would provide you a tool that automatically merges credit card statements with receipts. This will allow you to check whether the credit card spending matches the expenses.

During your annual review, you can simplify your approval process and suggest more elaborate approval rules. This makes it easier to determine when traveling employees are spending more than they should.

Using the Adelman’s myGarage to streamline your travel expenses processes

Contact us today and we’ll discuss how we can help you in building or improving your travel and expense policy.