If your company travels for business, you know all too well how quickly airfares, hotels, transportation, and other related travel costs cut into your total operating expenses. Effective travel and expense management depends on a well-defined travel policy that fits your company’s culture. In order to control costs, ensure employee satisfaction, and stay on top of expense reporting, here a few tips to keep in mind when creating an expense policy for business travel.
Make It Easy and Fair for Everyone
Write your expense policy in easy-to-understand terms, and avoid unnecessary jargon. Keep in mind that your company is comprised of multiple employees, all with their own opinions about what’s reasonable and fair when it comes to T&E management. As such, the policy should include options and choices that make it fair for everyone while keeping costs in check.
Employees are a company’s most valuable asset and keeping them comfortable while traveling keeps them productive and satisfied. Identify frequent travelers, and use their insight into travel pain points and preferences to shape a policy that benefits everyone.
Know Your Priorities
An overly complicated travel policy can be counterproductive. Look at your current travel costs to identify key areas that can be managed better, as well as your company’s specific priorities for expense management. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Encourage advance booking to avoid last minute travel purchase costs
- Promote online booking to reduce fees and streamline reporting
- Increase use of preferred vendors for airlines, lodging, and transportation
- Speed up expense and reimbursement processes
- Help employees avoid unauthorized spending
Cover the Trip from Start to Finish
An effective travel policy addresses any potentially confusing aspects of a business trip. This spans from booking the trip all the way through to the reimbursement process.
Can employees use their preferred travel sites, or will you work with a travel management company that has an online tool? Do they pay with their personal accounts and submit expenses, or is there a centralized corporate account?
What expenses are reimbursed? What expenses are not reimbursed? Do you have preferred vendors? What expense reporting system will your company use?
Will you allow employees to use their personal vehicles on business trips? If so, how will they be reimbursed for mileage and parking? If they’ll need to rent a vehicle, designate your refueling policy, insurance coverage requirements, and limits on car sizes and types.
Work with a Corporate Travel Agency
A corporate travel agency reduces the stress of planning and booking business travel. They offer innovative technologies, ongoing travel support, and better rates with travel vendors. Since 1972, Teplis Travel Service has supported travelers around the world. Our travel management solutions include online booking tools, traveler tracking & travel alerts, and real-time travel reporting. Contact a Teplis Travel agent today at 800-669-6547 to experience for yourself our standards of personalized service.