Travel expense management has become a pressing problem that needs your immediate attention. If not controlled at the source, it can prove detrimental to your financial health. Organizations who deprioritize employee cost management pay an even higher price. Since travel costs are increasing significantly, there’s also a sudden need to manage them efficiently.
In this article, we delve into the various challenges that traditional travel expense management brings with it. Additionally, we talk about why travel expense management is important and how technology and automation can help.
Benefits of travel expense management
Travel expense management aids the following:
- Company expense accounts: Detailed records of every travel and business expense, thereby streamlining the company accounting and audits.
- Travel expense fraud: Having the right travel expense policies in place helps control employee actions and detect fraudulent behavior or patterns.
- Employee reimbursement cycles: Having complete visibility into authorizations and trip expenditure helps predict employee travel expense costs.
Challenges of travel expense management
These are the prominent bottlenecks that hinder the effective managing of travel expenses:
- Poor trip expense visibility
- Limited or no access to important metrics like booking patterns, policy violators, etc.
- Failure to keep up with employee travel expense trends
- Lack of travel expense policies
- Manual expense fraud detection
- Manual pre-trip authorizations, even for recurring ones
- Inefficient or no procedure to handle exceptions
Travel expense management in 2019
Travel expense reporting has always been tricky. The ambiguity opens doors for major expense frauds. Business travel expense frauds cost $1.9B in the US alone. To avoid these costs, it is imperative for organizations to adopt innovation-driven technology. Technology has, time and again, proved beneficial to manage and control business travel related to employee expenses. Here’s how.
For business travel expenses, technology helps organizations by automating the following:
- Track pre-trip authorization requests
- Track stay and transport booking requests
- Account for non-reimbursable business expenses like flight or hotel costs
- Track end-to-end trip expense
- Detect duplicate expenses
- Detect holiday or weekend expenses
- Enable easy trip expense reporting for employees
- Automate recurring pre-trip approvals
- Enforce travel expense policies
- Handle exceptions through policies and manual intervention
- Analyze travel expense metrics like booking patterns, trip-wise spends, etc.
Technology and automation may seem like the ultimate rescue to address these challenges. However, many software products today often force organizations to redesign their processes. This leads to more friction than anything positive. Hence, it’s important for organizations to find the right software that personalizes their specific needs.
Travel expense management with Fyle
At Fyle, we understand how difficult it can be to transition to a digital travel expense management platform. Hence, we’ve created Fyle to address your organization’s end-to-end needs. And, we ensure existing processes are not hurt but accelerated instead.
Fyle takes care of all the travel expense pillars for your organization and employees. Here’s how.
Employees can easily raise pre-trip authorization requests for approvals via the web or mobile app.
Employees can raise transport and stay booking requests along with their trip requests via the web or mobile app.
Employees can add expenses on-the-go using the web or mobile app to report expenses without submitting it for approval.
Trip request policies
Finance teams can control the actions of specific employee groups by limiting the number of trip requests raised, capping transport/stay bookings, skipping system approvers, and more.
Trip requests customizations
Finance folks can enable trips for specific employee groups. They can also include custom fields in the trip request forms.
Cross org approvals for trip requests
Approvers can effortlessly approve trip requests along with transport and stay bookings from any of their entities/organizations within Fyle.
Spend by expense categories
Employers and finance teams can be in-the-know of where their employees spend the most – travel, utilities, food, etc. This can also be coupled with the most granular of details to help finance teams take better-informed financial decisions.
Travel planning – hotels and flights
Finance teams can understand hotel and flight booking patterns to avoid overspending for travel-related expenses.
Top vendors – hotels and flights
Finance teams can understand their employees preferred choice of stay and flight. This can help them explore partnership opportunities to reduce expenses by availing discounts.
Change in spend – categories
Finance teams can know about changing spending patterns for expense categories in the last couple of months to gain control of business spends.
Finance teams can stay informed about employees who frequently spend over the weekends, by the exact expense amount. This helps organizations create better policies to control business spends. This also helps the finance team to tweak existing policies to accommodate employee needs and increase compliance.
If you think this is where travel expense management ends at Fyle, hold your thoughts. There’s a lot more!