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I Had that Receipt Somewhere: Challenges of Travel Expense Management
Do your employees travel for work? Ok, we’re going to throw a few statistics at you:
- T&E is the second largest controllable expense for most organizations, only trumped by payroll1
- Global business travel spend topped $1.2 trillion (with a T, folks) in 2015, growing 5% over 2014, and that number was expected to spike even higher in 20162
- Every dollar a company invested in business travel, on average, realized $9.50 in new revenue and $2.90 in profits (we didn’t want to be all doom and gloom)3
This means, T&E is probably one of your largest expenses and it’s going to continue to climb (luckily, so will your profits). NAPCP recently published a survey, Trends in Commercial Card and Program Management, which discusses the concerns and challenges associated with T&E programs.
Let’s take a look at the findings, what issues respondents considered the most problematic (or just burdensome) and potential solutions for these challenges.
According to respondents, keeping track of employee receipts ranked second in program difficulty.
This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise. We’ve all had to mark the no receipt box once or twice on our expense reports, and your employees probably have, too.
Solution: Look for an expense management solution that allows mobile receipt image capture at the time of purchase.
16% of respondents stated that filing and submitting expense reports is a challenge.
Manually processing expense reports is not only arduous for your employees, it’s inefficient and costly for your organization. In fact, it costs about $25.78 to file a manual expense report, which can quickly add up4.
Solution: Automate that process (it will save you as much as $19 per expense report)! And while you’re at it, look for an expense management tool that has:
- Automated reporting
- A mobile application
- Receipt image capture
- Easy mileage calculation
- Automated transactions coding
40% of respondents ranked controls and compliance as the top area needing improvement within their T&E Program.
A T&E program that has less-than-desirable controls and compliance can lead to out of policy spending and cost control issues.
Solution: If your organization uses traditional T&E cards, look for a solution that allows you to set limits and criteria at the cardholder level.
If your organization is looking to expand its payment toolbox, consider virtual cards for travel. A virtual credit card is a unique, 16-digit number tied to a single travel transaction and issued for a specific dollar amount. They provide numerous benefits, like greater policy enforcement, reduced fraud exposure and easier reconciliation.
Although expensive, travel is an unavoidable, and profitable, aspect of running an organization. But that doesn’t mean managing a T&E program should be a painful and laborious process for you and your employees. To help lessen the pain, look for a payments partner who provides easier program management, full control and superior fraud management.
- Global Business Travel Association
- Oxford Economics USA
- PayStream Advisors