Acquiring, reporting, and assessing business-associated travel costs is a big challenge for all companies and enterprises in the US. Regardless of the number of employees, unless there is a well-structured T&E or travel and expense policy management solution, month-end processing tasks are stressful and overwhelming. Automated travel and expense management seems to be a common practice in the majority of US organizations and companies. But the question arises what are T&E expenses, and what are the stages involved in the T&E management procedure?
Placing the Travel Request
Unlike the manual T&E process, in automated travel and expense management procedures, placing travel requests and approvals happen at the same time. Companies use travel and expense management software enabling employees to book cab services, and flights, reserve hotel rooms, and multiple other travel choices. Moreover, during the process, T&E management software double-checks the reservations and bookings and implements required actions.
Post-send travel approvals are one of the prime reasons for delays in the reimbursement process. Thanks to travel and management software that guarantees approvals before or even as expenditures are obtained. Employees can access the acquired information at any time giving the finance team control over the total expense management process of the company. Moreover, the entire approval procedure is simplified, particularly because travel and expense managers can monitor and request clarifications and explanations. Thus, there is scope for instant approval or rejection of travel requests.
It is a tedious and painful task for employees to acquire travel expense receipts and fill up an accurate report. Manual expense reporting is also time-consuming. The presence of travel and expense management software has transformed it completely. Employees get the opportunity to scan and get hold of original receipts using T&E mobile applications filed against the travel expense report. The employees who are aware of what are t&e expenses can compile expense reports dependent on actual expenditures during business trips.
Approving Expense Claims
Studies reveal that the majority of businesses in the USA are looking to enhance their travel and expense approval procedures. Maintaining clarity in the T&E policy is one of the best methods to facilitate travel and expense approval workflows. Multiple other questions must be analyzed.
- How easy or difficult is it for employees to acquire proof of travel expenses?
- How many approval layers does the employee go through to get expense claims?
- Are there any considerations for the option of corporate credit cards?
When automated travel and expense are incorporated, the finance team or department of the company doesn’t have to cross-check or evaluate expense claims between approvers and employees.
Reimbursing Travel Expenses
Reimbursement is the final phase in the travel and expense management process. Direct credits and transfers to the bank accounts of the employees are preferred. This is because the process is time-saving, and takes less effort as the money is received instantly. The scope of improvement is only possible when there is a good feedback system. The automated T&E management solution assures employee feedback about the procedure at the end of every tour.
Why T&E Software is Essential?
Despite understanding what are T&E expenses are and their advantages, several companies in the USA still don’t intend to invest in a good travel and expense management software solution. The prime reason is that such companies believe that their existing management travel and expenses processes are good enough.
But they are wrong because unpredictability related to manual T&E workflow or no such system is frustrating. Furthermore, without good T&E management software, the whole process is time-consuming. Rectifying multiple errors and the lack of visibility over expense make things complex.
In a manual process, the manager might approve, request clarifications, or reject the claim, which is time-consuming. Additionally, employees have to save all the receipts and match them accurately while filing expense reports and waiting for reimbursement. Such is not the case when companies implement automated travel and expense management software.
Considering automated travel and expense management solutions offers an efficient multi-level travel workflow management. Business-related travel costs are one of the vital expenses for several companies. Hence, it is necessary to understand what are T&E expenses are and how management software can impact the budget of the company. The above-mentioned are the five stages or phases of travel and expense management solutions.