It is difficult to determine a business budget without first looking at the spending trends that help to create it. Being aware of business travel expenses is imperative to trip planning, and careful tracking is an infallible method of keeping those travel budgets on the right course. A little tracking can go a long way! After all, travel and expenses makes up about 10% of your operating budget.
Tracking Measures Potential
Habitual travel expense trackers know a thing or two about spending and saving. By mandating detailed reports on trip expenditures, financial managers create a simple way to examine the flow of money and determine where more or less is needed to reach monetary goals and achieve successful business treks. Monitoring business travel expenses helps to:
- Discover flexibility within a budget.
- Develop more accurate financial forecasts for future travel.
- Increase spending visibility and spot negative trends.
- Avoid missed opportunities for savings.
Once expense reports have been submitted, they need to be evaluated. By regularly conducting audits, financial managers can expose trends that are against company policy and neutralize them to keep the business travel-expense budget on course. Implementing thorough report assessments will keep employees honest and hold the dishonest accountable for their financial follies.
- Conduct random audits and use unpredictability as a way to hold every employee accountable.
- Assign a rating system based on the number of “strikes” an employee receives on expense reports.
- Discuss expense reports with employees to resolve problematic spending.
Corporate Credit Card Programs
Amplify the screening of business travel expenses with a corporate credit card program. Let's face it: Not everyone is trustworthy. Use a corporate credit card like a second set of eyes, tracking specific financial activity that takes place during business travel. Detailed expense summaries can be compared with expense reports to ensure that all the facts line up.
The advantages of a corporate credit card program include:
- Customizable plans for any size business or budget.
- 24/7 access to detailed expense summaries.
- Personalized alerts to assist in policing expenses.
- Reward incentives that allow cardholders to earn back some of what they spend.
- Reduced need for employee reimbursement.
Controlled spending habits and effective business budgets start with expense tracking. Search for savings, watch for fraudulent spending, and form more accurate predictions for future business travel expenses. The key to keeping on course is in the details!
Learn what travel and expense policies work best for Chrome River customers in our whitepaper, 10 Essential Expense Management Best Practices.
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.