How to settle business trips? – common pitfalls
Booking business trips on your own seems to be beneficial because you don’t have to pay for the services of an external company. In reality, there are many disadvantages to such an approach.
The most common pitfalls are:
- insufficient supervision of employee expenses
- no guidelines regarding travel parameters and no set budget for business trips
- risk of losing invoices (the employee forgets to collect the bill or invoice)
Read on to find out how to deal with these issues.
How to control employee expenses while traveling?
When an employee who is to fly abroad for business purposes plans his trip on his own, he may make uneconomical choices. The reason may be his ignorance and haste, or the mentality of “the company pays, so I choose what is the most expensive”. Often, an employee only plans a flight and hotel, and all other expenses are a surprise to him. Either way, for the company it is a loss.
The immediate solution to this problem is the establishment of travel plan approval procedures. Before making a reservation, the employee must ask for the consent of his supervisor.
Of course, it takes time, but it prevents the company from incurring unreasonable costs.
There is another solution. Simplify the approval process by using a travel company that takes care of corporate travel from A to Z. At Hotailors, it is done in an instant, because we use intuitive and modern technological solutions. See the example here.
How can I prevent travel expense problems?
Two simple ways are:
- Create guidelines for organizing business trips. Specify what is traveling employee allowed to choose: what kind of hotel or flight (quality standard), how much can the employee spend on meals at the company’s expense? — All these elements can be differentiated depending on the rank (e.g. guidelines may be different for the managerial staff and different for vendors or contractors).
- Determine the budget for business trips. It seems trivial, but companies forget about it. This is a simple way to increase control over expenses, because all you need to do is to analyze how much the trip may cost, and then set a budget that the traveler must fit.
The above-mentioned elements are components of the company’s travel policy. At Hotailors, we provide our customers with a SaaS solution — a cloud-based system available through a browser in which the employee organizes the trip, and the supervisor has access to the plans and can confirm them or direct them for improvement. In the same system, you can set parameters that will make it easier for the traveler to choose and give the company control over expenses.
These parameters include:
- flight classes
- standard of accommodation places
- the distance from destination within which the hotel must be selected
- travel budget
We enable the integration of the entire travel policy with our system, or we help to create such a policy from scratch.
How to improve the invoicing of business travel expenses?
The number of invoices that the employee and the billing department have to deal with after returning from the trip can be overwhelming (for flights, hotels, parking fees, motorway entry, coffee, tea, lunch …). But that’s not the worst. The real problem occurs when an employee loses a receipt or invoice. Such situations happen and not always on the fault of the traveler. A tiring flight, stress related to the coronavirus, a lot of things to do — all this means that losing a document can happen to anyone.
The most convenient solution is to cooperate with a travel company that will take care of all settlements.
For instance, at Hotailors, the traveler does not have to remember about invoices at all. He doesn’t need to use cash (we support cashless transactions for various currencies, e.g. EURO, PLN, USD), and then his company receives one collective invoice with all services listed. This saves time and money.
What technology to choose to optimize business travel billing?
The key is to integrate all processes in one system. The Hotailors solution collects flights and hotels, billing, data and statistics in one place. The technology we offer is powered by AI and supported by over 3,000 travel agents from around the world who act as our 24/7 customer service.
As a result, our clients gain the ability to supervise the budget, simple ways to implement travel policies, immediate access to reports, and easier travel organization. Everything in one place. All expenses at one collective invoice issued every 14 days (or monthly).
If you think that our solution will help you optimize your business travel costs, please contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.