For most corporate employees today, business travel has become a way of life. In fact, according to PayStream Advisors 2016 Travel and Expense Management Report, 40 percent of businesses have a workforce that takes part in travel at least one week a year, and another 24 percent of organizations noted their employees traveled for at least four weeks per year.

With so many enterprise-sponsored trips happening, it's important that company leaders and traveling staff members have a simple way to keep track of and report their travel expenses. This is where an automated expense reporting solution comes into play. Such technology can make the lives of travelers and their employers much easier, thanks to a few key benefits. Let's take a look at three top reasons why companies of all sizes are flocking to these solutions:

1) Aligning Expense Practices with Company Travel Policies

Now that the vast majority of organizational workers take part in business trips throughout the year, having a company travel policy has become more commonplace. This policy lays the ground rules for everything from booking travel to reimbursement for expenses, and ensures that traveling workers and their companies remain on the same page.

A travel policy is especially important when it comes to tracking and reporting expenses, as well as paying employees back for the money spent on corporate travel. In the past, it was difficult to align expense reporting practices with the company travel policy – in fact, according to a study from Aberdeen Group, improving compliance with company travel procedures was a pressure faced by 49 percent of organizations.

Thankfully, an automated expense reporting tool can alleviate this challenge. By creating a single solution for inputting receipts and tracking other expenditures, it becomes much easier for workers and employers to remain in step with important policy pieces, like per diem amounts and reporting schedules.

2) Reducing Operating Costs

Travel is expensive, and the cost can increase exponentially for longer trips, or those that require added stops. This can create an increase in the number of expense reports that must be processed every month. PayStream found that half of all companies process at least 500 expense reports on a monthly basis, and another 26 percent process as many as 2,500 reports. And when you consider that it costs an average of $41.12 to process a single report manually, the cost of corporate travel can become significant.

A top priority among business leaders today is to reduce these costs, and there are few better strategies to employ here than utilizing an automated expense reporting solution. CFO Edge found that with this technology in place, the cost of processing a report drops to $7.17, helping companies save an incredible amount of financial resources that can then be put towards more pressing mission-critical initiatives.   

Expense reporting solutions help organizations cut operational costs.Expense reporting solutions help organizations cut operational costs.

3) Streamlining Employee Reimbursement

From an employee perspective, one of the biggest challenges with corporate travel is the time it takes to be reimbursed. Even if the organization pays up-front for airline tickets and hotel stay, the worker is still responsible for day-to-day expenditures like food. And when staff members aren't reimbursed as quickly as possible, it can contribute to reduced job satisfaction.

PayStream discovered that lengthy reimbursement cycles fell within the top five travel and expense management challenges companies face today. An automated solution can help businesses streamline their reimbursement by making it much easier for employees to submit reports on time.

With a robust travel expense management solution, employees can access the platform via their mobile devices and input receipts from anywhere. This means there's less of a chance that a receipt will be lost, and staff members can get their reports in on time, helping to eliminate any delay in reimbursement.

Overall, automated expense management tools are a must for any company with a traveling workforce. To find out more about how this technology can make your life and the lives of your employees easier, contact us today.