Six ways businesses can save on travel and expenses

Travel and expense (T&E) policies help avoid costly errors and ensure compliance, and can help prevent and detect fraud. However, relying on manual and outdated technology, such as paper or scanned receipts, can be costly and they make it difficult to enforce policy compliance, potentially putting your business at risk.

Finance leaders are always looking for areas to cut costs and improve the bottom line. Often, the choices are tough and the problems complicated to fix, but sometimes the solution is hiding in plain sight.

T&E is a complex, ongoing area of spending that is difficult to track. However, by having an integrated, end-to-end solution in place, businesses can turn manual T&E processes and out-of-control costs into real, lasting bottom-line savings.

There are six ways businesses can save from an automated T&E solution:

1. Stop overspending on errors. A T&E system that automatically processes charges from suppliers and credit card companies can lower the risk of missed or incorrectly-entered expenses. That kind of accuracy lets organisations get expense reports done faster and pay corporate bills sooner, leading to better control of cash flow.

2. Cut out management time. Requesting travel, tracking receipts, and completing expense reports through a manual, outdated process can lengthen processing time and create administrative burdens for organisations. Businesses can get ahead by automating the entire T&E process to minimise both costs and demands on employees.

3. Take control of mobile-phone spending. Employees can quickly accumulate mobile roaming charges when travelling. Automation lets organisations use travel data to proactively identify trips that may incur roaming or additional mobile charges. This can help businesses adjust mobile plans before travellers leave so they can avoid hidden and expensive mobile costs.

4. Spot savings without increasing overheads. Having the right tools in place can help businesses stop bad spending before it happens and mitigate fraud risks early in the process. This frees the finance team to focus on managing budget instead of the process.

5. Negotiate discounts. Harmonising vendor information from every source can give organisations visibility into spending with each hotel, airline, and other travel provider. Not only does this ensure visibility into real-time spend, it also positions businesses to negotiate the best prices and save on accommodation or flights.

6. Reduce tax costs. Employee travel has tax implications, from payroll tax to GST on international purchases. Targeted apps can help businesses address this type of spending and automatically track tax liabilities as well as GST expenses.

No matter how big or small a business is, a T&E solution that can grow with the business can help propel it to the next level. An effective automated solution can anticipate pain points and address them, while streamlining processes and helping the business to run more efficiently.

Matt Goss, Managing Director, Concur

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