Technology innovations have ushered in a new set of rules for business travelers and their corporate travel managers. Sophisticated yet user-friendly enterprise systems and cloud-based software services have made working anytime/anyplace the new reality for today’s professionals—and many have embraced it with open arms. Or, shall we say, with connected devices?
Expense Management 2.0The widespread business use of smartphones and tablets and the proliferation of mobile apps—not to mention the prevailing preference for hopping on the web to get things done—are driving change in corporate travel programs. New policies, new processes, and, let’s face it, new ways of working are being adopted across industries (and time zones). Here’s what business travelers need to keep in mind as they traverse the globe:
1) Travelers must know their corporate travel policyAn evident challenge for many organizations is a shrinking travel budget, or rather increasing travel costs that strain travel managers to do more with less. It has become more important than ever that business travelers know what’s expected—what can be expensed, and what can’t—so they can respect the policies of their travel programs. This means they need to carefully review their T&E policies and be held accountable for staying in compliance, addressing concerns with their managers early and often and ensuring their travel expense reports are accurate and timely. While an automated expense report solution will keep users in line by flagging submissions that fall short of their corporate policy, having a strong familiarity with the in’s and out’s of their travel policy will mean quicker reimbursements for these business travelers in the long run.
Read Why Create A Travel Expense Policy (And How To Do It) and 4 Must-Haves for a Winning Expense Report Policy for further insights.
2) Travelers must stay connectedAside from helping them stay organized and productive, web-based tools like the Nexonia Expenses Mobile App make it easy for people to manage expense reporting while on the road. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools in particular keep travelers’ expense report data synced across their devices (e.g. laptops, smartphones, tablets)—and keeps them running even if they find themselves offline. Additionally, cloud-based software connects travelers to their management and admin team back in the office, so everyone stays on the same page.
3) Travelers must provide detailed reportsThere’s no way around it: business travelers need to be specific about their T&E expenses. The digitization of expense reports has made it possible for travel managers (and executives in the C-suite) to use data in value-added ways—and it’s making a big impact on the creation of travel program design, policy and bottom-line goal setting. At the same time, technology has made such things as “forgotten expenses” a thing of the past. Using today’s web-based expense reporting software and apps, travelers can easily track their expenses as they go, with a number of added benefits:
- They can take pictures of receipts and load them directly into entries;
- Their credit card transactions can be linked to their reports;
- They can use multiple currencies during their trips and enjoy automatic calculations;
- They can create their expense report from anywhere, including on the flight home (and can submit the report once they’ve established an internet connection).