You may be asking yourself, why do I need an integrated travel management solution? Why can’t my employees just look for the cheapest flights and get approval from me? The quick answer is yes and no. Yes, your employees can do that, but is it the most efficient way? No.
An integrated travel management solution is essential for controlling costs
As businesses are growing and globalization is becoming more widespread it brings with its opportunities and challenges. 90% of travelers consider business trips essential for company growth. However, business trips are also the second largest expenditure, right after salaries. For this reason, corporate travel management must be an integral part of the finance and accounting function. One of the main challenges many companies face is that half of their employees are booking business travel themselves through vacation sites. The CFO, traveler, and HR team all have different priorities therefore, it is difficult for all three to be equally satisfied. However, an integrated travel management solution will bring benefits for all three.
Some of the main challenges that are faced when employees book themselves using vacation sites are
- Lack of visibility: CFOs are left in the dark about business travel expenses and have to rely on only the reports given by the employees.
- Adoption: Only by accurately tracking and measuring business travel can companies ensure they are getting value for money as they pursue further growth.
- Poor value for money: Letting employees book through whichever channel suits them also creates poor value for money compared to a standardized portal where finance professionals can confirm that the best deals are being utilized.
Three crucial aspects for CFOs:
- Cost: Since business travel is one of the main expenses after salaries it is also one of the main areas which costs can be cut. One suggestion is for CFOs to look into SaaS online platforms with pay as you use options.
- Control: In order for CFOs to have maximum visibility over expenses they must have control. Therefore, an online travel platform should enable you the flexibility to set different travel policies and customize your own approval workflows. This will help control spending and facilitate budget optimization, which will allow for maximum control.
- Data: By having all employees book and expense on one platform, will enable the CFOs to get real-time insights on T&E spending. Reports will automatically be generated with detailed reporting by time period, cost center, department, travelers, and service.