Travel Expense Integration & Payment Systems Options
by Mike Serle
As part of our discovery process in promoting “best practices” to our corporate clientele, we invariably find that many of our prospects continue to process expense reports manually via Excel spreadsheet; requiring travelers to provide hard-copy documentation of business trip expenditures. We also encounter companies that still fax credit card guarantees to hotels with copies of the front and back of their credit cards including copies of the guarantor’s drivers’ license.
These legacy procedures necessitate that employees hand-key identical data elements at least twice which results in a tedious, inaccurate and time consuming workflow. Concurrent with the launch of an online booking platform, Travel Edge can help a client evaluate the benefits of an integrated expense reporting and payment process. Clients typically gain the following benefits from such integration:
- Pre- approval of travel expenditures
- Correct allocation to cost centers and projects
- Single-sign-on to BOTH travel and expense applications
- Ability to enforce travel policy unilaterally
- Elimination of redundancy of effort
- Easily upload and archive expense receipts
- Automatic routing of expense reports to approvers
- Ability to allow or reject individual expense line items
- Systematically process vendor pre-payment
While there are various and sundry online booking programs in the consumer space, Travel Edge’s partners with the two leading corporate-focused providers, Concur and DEEM. Both systems offer corporate clientele true end-to-end travel and expense integration.
Using one convenient interface, travelers can review travel options, gain administrative cost approval, book travel in accordance with company policy, pay for travel costs AND submit for expense reimbursement. Travelers can access a link from their own credit and debit card accounts and access charges from company sponsored credit card programs. Out of pocket expenditures or mileage costs can easily be submitted.
It can be daunting for a corporation to determine how many man hours are actually spent via data entry from submitting and processing expense reports. It is even more challenging to determine how much money is lost by non-compliance to policy, fraud and the work flow involved when expense reports are not submitted promptly.
While there are always reservations that need to be processed by an agent for company VIP travelers and for more complicated international tickets, those transactions will also be included. Any reservation processed either online or with Worldview Travel agents will be automatically included in expense reports.
For approximately half the cost of a traditional reservation, Travel Edge’s clients can gain the benefits of a fully-automated online travel and expense processing system, and improve the handling and security of hotel pre-payments.