5 challenges in Travel and Expense Management Today

With a stark rise in globalisation, business mobility, and international expansions, there is consequently an increase in travel expenses. This is an added worry for companies that already suffer from problems with cost management. Challenges such as these more often than not fall under the following five categories, and overcoming them is a necessity for the financial well- being of the organization.

Vague Travel Expense Policies

When travel expense policies are unclear to employees, it is an obvious consequence that acceptable payments will be overseen.

Common travel costs such as accommodation and food should be clearly stated in every organization.  In cases where organizations have tie-ups with specific chains, a reference sheet should be provided for convenience.

A mobile application with this information would be the best solution for employees that engage in business travel. It should be possible for employees to have the ability to make decisions in a clear and informed manner. Relevant policies should be laid out for business travelers with clarity and easy accessibility. This would help avoid misguided expenditure.

Reduced Expense Visibility

Major hurdles occur daily in the auditing and optimization process due to poor expense visibility. Aspects such as top spending categories in travel expense accounts and the average expenditure on food and accommodation on a daily basis must be clearly visible.

An insufficient display of data could lead to erroneous accounting. Important insights are often overlooked due to a lack of visibility. Instead of a limited set of reports, having access with ease to several databases could help avoid tricky situations in a timely and orderly manner. Structuring by pulling in a wide variety of reports instead of having to click on multiple programs to compare data will lead to better detection of unwanted expenses. An ‘at a single glance look’ on a single panel will lead to a major decline in unwanted expenses.

Ineffective Processes

Manual processes such as entering information into a spreadsheet often lead to the overlooking of incoming costs; this can lead to a barrage of mistakes especially in a large organization. Handling paper receipts with thousands of employees sending in information can even lead to incomplete and sometimes inaccurate reports.

To overcome this hurdle, an overhaul of travel expense management processes is needed. In place of spreadsheets, an automated system needs to be in place to eradicate the necessity for data entry. Streamlining of expense entries by employees should be done in such a way that paper receipts are deemed unnecessary. Through spend and expense management mobile apps, this process becomes not only quick and easy but also intuitive for both sides.

Deferred Employee Reimbursement

Approval or denial of employee reimbursement should be a timely process, as a delay in this area could not only lead to built up resentment but also a lack of order within the organization. Constricting factors such as missing key information or delayed the processing of an expense report can be eliminated through the integration of technology such as spend and expense management apps. Automating reviews will lead to a no-error method of reimbursement. Efficiency is automatically increased by limiting hands-on work.

Disregarding Employee Travel Expense Trends

Spreadsheets or other similar systems reduce data visibility and deny integration of important aspects such as historical trends or irregular patterns.

Sensing atypical behavior besides normal patterns is extremely difficult through manual expense reporting. Manual processes restrict data visibility down to a single point in time. To solve a puzzle efficiently, every piece must be visible. This will greatly help in avoiding padding of accounts and unexpected expenditure.

Efficient travel management could be a harrowing process sans the integration of technology. Outdated systems not only make the process time-consuming and difficult but could lead to large missteps that will effectively lead to a significant imbalance in the organization’s financial well- being. Spend and expense management apps have markedly improved travel and expense management, leading to controlled management of expense accounts.

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