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Travel and expense policy best practices

Whilst a travel and expense policy is unique to each organisation or company, there are a number of best practices that should be applied in all cases to ensure integrity of the policy and high compliance. Policies should be dynamic by linking to customer and revenue data so that guidance adapts to the current situation a traveller is facing. As an example, last minute travel to close a business deal may require a higher level of spend than a traditional travel policy may allow, but the revenue generated by the deal, could far outweigh any spend.

You should also make sure that a travel and expense policy is not over-complicated. If driven by dynamic data, it will be automatic and clearly indicate what an employee can and can’t do or claim for.

For further guidance on spend thresholds or daily per diem rates, make sure the rules are clear and explain why they are necessary.

Be flexible. Make sure your employees won’t end up out of pocket and if they are required to spend on behalf of the company, reimburse expenses promptly to avoid unnecessary stress. Also ensure that the process of booking travel arrangements isn’t overly complicated because they can’t find a flight or hotel “within policy”. Spend limits should again be driven dynamically according to how much the trip contributes to company revenues.

When you drive travel decisions by customer and revenue data, you empower the traveller to spend as necessary in order to generate revenue for the company. Consider offering a budget depending on the forecasted revenue of the business trip. For example, sales reps could be given 10% of the total value of their sales opportunity for travel and expenses related to that opportunity. They know they need the deal to be profitable and so this will encourage behaviours in spending money as if its their own, serving to empower them further.

Make it easy for people to submit their expenses – no complicated scanning and extensive forms but really simple submissions that can be done on the road via mobile device. Furthermore, when booking travel, ensure you use an integrated travel and expense system that automates expense management saving valuable time and increasing employee productivity.

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