Start-up bids to revolutionise small business travel

Making small business travel bookings in just “a couple of minutes” was a major draw for first-time user Cameron Beattie, managing director at cloud firm Conversant.

Businesses in Australia and New Zealand with up to 150 employees can now make bookings online without paying any service fees through a new business travel management application.

Called serko.travel, the application aims to give users access to the same travel-booking technology and deals enjoyed by more than 6,000 large corporations across Australia and New Zealand today.

Start-up Serko Ltd. said the application works in conjunction with online accountancy software Xero and helps level the playing field in small business travel that historically, often favoured large organisations.

Small businesses can access the application via desktop by logging at www.serko.travel and via a mobile app designed for iPhone and Android users. Through this application, users can book domestic, Trans-Tasman and international flights. Also available is a slew of features to modify bookings, set parameters on employee use, control budgets and connect to Xero’s software, with the overall goal of saving time and money for small businesses.

“Serko.travel brings together all of the key travel suppliers in the region – from Air New Zealand and Qantas to Booking.com and Wotif – and allows users to book everything in one place, at the same time, without having to pay any service fees. It will help businesses save money, particularly those that use Xero,” said Serko CEO Darrin Grafton.

Making travel bookings in just “a couple of minutes” was a major draw for first-time user Cameron Beattie, managing director at cloud firm Conversant.

“The real benefit to us is having everything in one place. We now officially have a travel policy and it’s saved us so much time,” said Beattie.

Complementing the online functionality of serko.travel is a team of offline experts from helloworld for business, corporate traveller and flight centre business travel. For the first time, customers can use Travel Expert services and pay on an on-demand basis.

“For businesses that book a lot of travel, serko.travel is the ideal add-on to Xero. It fits perfectly into our recently launched App Marketplace, a one-stop-shop for cloud apps linked to Xero,” said Xero managing director Anna Curzon.

The integration between the systems allows travel booking data from serko.travel to flow seamlessly into Xero, simplifying the process of reconciling credit card statements, said Curzon.

Businesses in New Zealand and Australia can find out more and sign up at www.serko.travel.

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