No Magic Wand Needed, Travel and Expense Management Can Be Easy
Travel and expense management is not something that many look forward to. For employees, the manual, paper-intensive process is another nerve-racking chore involving endless negotiations and re-submissions. The document-intensive process is also an auditor’s nightmare with manual matching of countless receipts, reports and bills.
With globalization, business travel is throwing corporate in a tizzy. Companies are pushing for greater efficiencies in managing travel spend. Corporate travelers are urged to restrain and avoid unwanted costs. But self-regulatory mechanisms are not working and organizations across the world are opting for automation and digitization of spend management.
Automation has made T&E a much friendlier process with instant acceptance and payments. The manual process is riddled with bottlenecks at every step and forces the evasion of compliance. Compliance should be high on a company’s agenda and deviations carry the risk of fines, adversely affecting business reputation. With automated systems, regulatory compliance becomes less rigorous and limitations of geography and international laws stop affecting organizations.
That said, automation cannot be the ultimate savior for effective travel and expense management. It is important that organizations zero in on workable practices ably supported by automation. Such practices include policy guidelines, approval systems, vendor education, access, and visibility among others.
Policies that fit the bill
Organizations need to work on developing a simple and easy-to-follow expense policy. In many organizations, policies are too wordy and filled with jargon. Employees hardly put time and effort to understand them. It only makes expense management a trial-and-error process, inflating costs and effort. Bills need to be re-submitted, compliance issues worked out one at a time, and paperwork becomes endless for employees to submit bills on time. With automation, compliance becomes smooth sailing. Bills that do not match policy are red-flagged with clearly stated reasons, and employees start getting it right the first time.
Provision for out-of-policy travel
Travel and expenses may not neatly fit the policy framework and organizations should have a process worked out for policy expenses. Red-flagged bills can be escalated for higher approvals automatically, and employees can be spared the grueling task of getting reimbursement.
Greater mobility for greater good
A cloud-based expense management system ensures mobile capabilities. Employees can always plug in to the system and upload their bills in seconds, and also cross-check if a particular bill is permissible by policy. Travel changes also can be accommodated easily with mobile accessibility.
Giving vendors access to your T&E system can help the management. For example, your travel agent can be relied upon to provide competitive prices by frequently checking of the norms. Such connections are trusted sources to support employees in delivering affordable packages that are complaint with company policies.
Legal advice required
Every organization should be equipped to face the worst while their employees are travelling. Legal advice, insurance formalities, diplomatic requirements, visa compliance and more need to be checked on to minimize the risk of travel. The duty of care should be inherent in all transactions and that should be part of travel and expense management systems.
T&E is still swamped with paper work as many organizations continue opting for manual auditing and reporting processes. Cloud-based automating systems help cut down costs, improve deliverables and ensure policy compliance. Automation should always be supported with effective change management programs, policy makeovers and education, so that it is enduringly effective. Companies need to revamp their systems to make T&E modern and technology friendly. This does not require grandiose enablers, but simple common-sense policies.
Expenzing platforms are easy-to-use and adaptable automated systems that facilitate procurement, invoicing, and expense management. Control your T&E spend with cloud based Expenzing platforms that make travel hassle-free.
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- No Magic Wand Needed, Travel and Expense Management Can Be Easy - February 13, 2016