One of the most significant expenses that your corporation can incur is that of reimbursing your employees for necessary business travel expenses.
But while business travel expenses may be expensive, they also don’t have to be as expensive as you may have thought they would be.
Here are the top ways that your corporation can save money on business travel:
Make Your Travel Policy As Concise As You Possibly Can
When writing your business travel policy, it needs to be as clear, concise, and as easy to understand as you can possibly make it (in addition to making sure it’s easily accessible).
Avoid the use of vague language and clearly define what counts as a valid business expense and what does not. For example, you may decide that the cost of food when an employee is entertaining or meeting with clients or customers at dinner is a valid expense that you’ll reimburse, but an employee eating food at a restaurant by themselves is not.
Another issue to consider, especially for abroad trips, is the issue of taxes, which you may decide to reimburse or not.
If your company does decide to reimburse your employees for foreign taxes incurred, and to have a good idea of the global taxation baselines before reimbursing.
Automate, Automate, Automate
The days of manually processing business expenses, including travel expenses, are drawing to a close as it’s simply obsolete.
These days, there are a number of high quality software solutions that you can turn to, which can process expenses and receipts, create invoices, and even create data for your company to analyze, which you can later use to determine where you need to make important cost savings.
Have A Process For Pre-Trip Approval
One of your policies should be that your employees have to receive pre-trip approval before making bookings or making their expenses valid for reimbursement.
What your corporation can do is have an approval system in place for each booking an employee makes, from car rentals to hotel rooms to airfare.
Furthermore, you can take things a step further by joining forces with a travel management company and use a booking tool online. This will allow whichever team you designate to have to give employees approval for travel to have better control overbooking flights and hotels.
And if you do want your employees to book their own hotels and airfare (more on this in a bit), having them use the online booking tool with the travel management company you’ve partnered with will make it very easy to monitor the bookings.
Require Proof of Expense
You should always have your employees submit proof of their expenses in order to be eligible for reimbursement.
This is a simple and yet highly effective guard against expense fraud, where employees with bad intentions may attempt to claim expenses that they didn’t really incur, or otherwise dramatically inflate existing expenses.
The easiest way for an employee to display proof of the expenses incurred will be to submit either e-receipts or physical receipts.
These can then be overviewed by your accounting team or accounts payable team to confirm that the receipts are valid and that the expenses are eligible for reimbursement.
Alternatively, and even better, if you use an automated software system to process these proofs of expenses, an even better job will be done of detecting irregularities or anything else out of the ordinary.
Consider Taking Control of Booking Airfare and Hotel Rooms
Some companies allow their employees to choose their hotel rooms and airline tickets, so long as they remain at or under the allowable reimbursement amount, and that’s totally fine.
However, you may still want to take things further by having hotel rooms and airline tickets booked for your employees instead in order to truly get the best available rates.
Either way, as we discussed previously, you should make use of an online booking tool with a travel management agency your company partners with. This way, you can identify the best rates well ahead of travel time.
Saving Money On Business Travel
There are many more ways that your company will be able to save on business travel costs beyond the ones that we have covered here, so don’t think that the strategies we have covered here are the only ones your company will be able to use.