An ever increasing number of employees have to travel for work during their working day. Events, meetings and client appointments, whether outside of the city or of the country, form an integral part of the day to day for many companies. If your business has to spend a lot on mileage allowances and trip expenses per day, read on to find some key points to follow on how you can keep them under control.
Working trips are becoming more and more frequent in many companies. The expenditure list grows ever longer: train tickets, taxis, lunches, parking costs, hotel stays and of course not forgetting petrol. It’s a never-ending list that can mean huge expenditure for a business.
If your company is one of those that has to deal with expenses that seem to get larger and larger, here are four tips for keeping those costs in line:
- Make sure you are clear on the budget available. Although it may seem obvious, the first step is knowing how much money you have available for travel expenses. One must take into account many considerations when planning a budget such as what and how much the foreseeable needs of the company will cost in the coming year and if the places of work will be in the same, or different locations.
- Determine what type of trip and mileage will be covered for each employee. It is very important to define which costs will be covered by the company for each employee and if there is a budget limit for them. We must then also pay attention to when and what to do when the limit is exceeded. Company policy on travel expenditure must determine the correct process and the necessary measures for justifying any type of travel cost.
- Monitor all invoices and collect and file all receipts suitably.
- Digitize and automate the process. Having to report and manage all business expenses is tedious for both parties involved – the accounts team which is the department tasked with accounting for all expenses and the employee who most likely has enough on their plate when travelling for work (organizing documents for meetings, deciding what to pack, arranging their schedule, etc.) as to think about paperwork.
One practical solution is to count on a digital platform that digitizes and automates the process. Once expenses have been digitized during the reporting stage, it is then possible to automate a series of actions in the later stages of expenditure management, such as the verification of spending policies, bank reconciliation or foreign exchange rates.
This approach helps us to be more aware of the costs generated within the company and in the reduction of necessary resources as the majority will be carried out without human intervention. As a result, we will save time, no longer have to make up for human error and enjoy higher levels of productivity and efficiency.
Aside from these specific tips, we must also take into account that a good general practice for managing the costs arising from business travel in an efficient manner is to carry out a travel study. This will help us identify any points of improvement and will help avoid any unnecessary costs in managing corporate travel. In order to carry out a good travel analysis, make sure you are clear which employees will have to travel in order to fulfil their role. Identify the departments that need to travel and in which cases they would need to make a trip. Estimate how far the geographical region in which the company will need to operate extends and the frequency of trips. By following the study and the advice that has been set out above you will be able to keep your company’s travel expenses under control.