Are you struggling to keep track of your travel budget while at the same time managing travel expenses for multiple travellers in your company?
An end-to-end Travel and Expense (T&E) Framework is the answer. By applying a few fundamentals to your approach, you can save valuable time for your business, and control your travel costs at the same time.
A T&E framework provides a structure to monitor and control travel trends, budgets and expenses while reducing the likelihood of fraud, the potential for disgruntled travellers, and saving time.
Flight Centre Business Travel General Manager Ryan Potgieter shares valuable tips to help travel bookers to craft an effective T&E Management plan, and get the most out of their travel spend.
1. Get a clear view of your company’s travel spend
You can’t hope for savings if you don’t understand the scope of your total travel spend, from significant expenses to smaller items that can add up to substantial amounts, such as extra baggage fees and airport parking.
By defining procedures for T&E management, you will be better positioned to analyse costs and see if budgets are accurate. This will help to identify who is spending what, on what, and help to identify travel trends and savings opportunities.
Without a T&E management protocol, you have no meaningful way to benchmark spend.
2. Update your travel policy to ensure productivity
Once you have a clear view of your spend, ask yourself if your business is getting the maximum value for its spend. It is vital to ensure your company travel policy is up-to-date. A travel policy provides bookers and travellers with clear guidelines around issues such as preferred suppliers, budgets and allowances, booking classes and rules, as well as payment methods. It clarifies from the get-go what authorisation may be required at each stage of the booking process. Automation will save time and money and improve productivity.
By partnering with FCBT, you can benefit from our global buying power and existing contracts.
3. Monitor travel expenses
Clearly state which T&E items the business will cover and stipulate what travel and entertainment expenses would be for your travellers’ account. Include guidelines about expense claims, required supporting documentation and the deadlines for those claims. Stipulate the consequences for employees who do not comply with these policies. Establishing clear guidelines for travel expenses can help alleviate a great deal of discontent.
4. Automation is key
Are you still a fan of the tried and trusted paper-trail? Remember that mistakes are easy to make if expenses are manually entered and itemised. These errors can be costly.
The good news is, you don’t need to be a tech guru to streamline your T&E spend and deploy the latest technology. Our systems automatically populate charges from suppliers, credit card companies and receipts, for example, lowering the risk of missed or incorrectly entered expenses and fraud.
Centralised expense management not only provides convenience and better reporting but can also help to simplify future booking processes, from pre-trip approvals to profile management and traveller tracking.
For other advice on how to proactively manage your T&E, check out Flight Centre Business Travel’s latest whitepaper https://www.flightcentrebusinesstravel.co.za/white-papers/travel-bookers-guide-to-travel-and-expense-management
Flight Centre Business Travel can also help businesses decide when to turn to a travel expert and how to keep travel spend in check. Call Flight Centre Business Travel on 0877 40 51 60 or visit www.fcbt.co.za for the travel expertise needed to grow your business.