Travel and expense: Going the extra mile

Ingrid Picard

Managing Director - Corporations, Amadeus

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Travel and expense (T&E) is the second-largest expenditure item for corporations worldwide. Could you be getting more value from your investment?

Big benefits to gain:

A London School of Economics study found that proactive management of T&E, through best practices and improved IT systems, can generate significant results:

  1. The cost of processing a transaction: reduced by ½.
  2. Over 10% savings from using an online booking tool.
  3. Employee satisfaction levels sky-rocket.
  4. 20% higher fraud identification.

Best practice looks like...

By adopting best practice processes, ROI opportunities exist across the T&E spectrum. 

Stage 1: T&E strategic sourcing

Best practices:

  1. Complete spend analysis 
  2. Define formal travel policy
  3. Ensure process compliance
  4. Implement demand management

Stage 2: T&E buying

Best practices:

  1. Enforce a managed-buying channel
  2. Implement ‘smart approval’
  3. Drive corporate card usage
  4. Status = very few best practices applied

Stage 3: Traveller support and duty of care

Best practices:

  1. Clearly-communicated travel policy
  2. Policy is consistently enforced 
  3. Cultural contract of responsible spend
  4. Status = some best practices applied

Stage 4: Expense management 

Best practices:

  1. Deploy automated, commercial T&E system
  2. Use mobile scan-and-send technology
  3. Granular expense reporting
  4. Status = best practices mostly applied

Stage 5: Analytics and feedback

Best practices:

  1. Eliminate data silos
  2. Reduce manual reporting effort
  3. Facilitate feedback loops
  4. Use real-time analytics and alerts
  5. Status = very few best practices applied

Many missed opportunities:

  1. Despite the benefits, many organisations are skipping best practices.
  2. 100% of interviewees have a defined T&E policy. Yet, 95% permit out-of-policy booking. 
  3. 80% don’t have access to spend information sufficient for T&E sourcing.
  4. Two-thirds lack sufficient tools for T&E demand management.
  5. Up to 20% of travel bookings don’t go through a managed-buying channel. 
  6. Corporate credit cards are widely underutilised in tracking travel spend:
  • Only 26% use a central credit card for booking major travel.
  • While 32% allow employees to pay for flights using their own personal credit cards.

The result = missed savings opportunities and sub-optimal ROI.

The T&E technology topping CxOs’ wishlists:

  1. IT is seen by CxOs as a key enabler to help improve T&E programs. 
  2. 60% of CxOs are considering changes to their T&E IT systems in the next 1–3 years.
  3. Improved analytics and reporting is priority one.
  4. 53% want out-of-policy travel alerts. 
  5. Access to granular expense detail is critical for 70%.
  6. 59% have mobile scan-and-send expenses on their IT wishlists.
  7. Mobile functionality is the top booking priority for 94%.
  8. The 2nd most-requested booking feature is automated alerts on lost savings.

Download the Managing Every Milewhite paper to access the full research findings.

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