Even with the dominance of ride-sharing services, car rentals remain a major business travel expense for many organizations around the world, particularly where ground transportation may be away from major urban centers, or require multiple days of vehicle usage. As such, many organizations have negotiated relationships with vendors to provide preferential rental rates, as well as additional complimentary services such as unlimited miles, included damage waivers, and vehicle class upgrades. Combining these benefits could potentially save hundreds of dollars for a week-long rental.
One of the challenges faced by organizations is how to effectively manage and police these agreements. When travelers submit their car rental expenses for reimbursement, they often just enter the total rental cost, along with a receipt image or PDF. The receipts themselves will contain a full line-item breakdown of charges, but employees submitting them as expenses don’t break them down by line item, and expense automation solutions haven’t previously typically had the ability to parse and map individual rental receipt line items. As a result, travel managers have had to manually pore over every rental receipt to verify that the negotiated rates and benefits were being honored. It was a time-consuming and often fruitless process, but one which could potentially cost organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars if not done.
Related: Banishing the Hotel Bill Nervous Breakdown
We’re excited that this is now a thing of the past for Chrome River customers, as we are adding car rental receipts to our FOLIO offering. When an employee uploads the PDF rental receipt, or forwards the rental company’s email to their Chrome River wallet, the system will automatically identify that it’s a car rental based on key characteristics. It then extracts key data fields, such as daily rate, taxes, additional mileage fees, and damage waivers, and will create a separate, categorized line item within the overall rental expense. This enables organizations to easily spot rentals which contain fees outside the negotiated rate. In addition, this fee data can be analyzed on an organization-wide basis, which can be used to either reclaim these fees periodically, or to provide support for future negotiated rates.
Car FOLIO is available immediately for all Chrome River customers who subscribe to the Chrome River FOLIO service, providing even greater cost control capabilities. And as it’s an automated solution, it enables us to further humanize work for both business travelers and finance teams, reducing manual data entry and enabling them to focus on what matters most.
Learn more about Chrome River FOLIO and how it can streamline hotel and car rental receipt challenges here. Chrome River customers should contact their customer success manager for more details.
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Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care.
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic.