Corporate travel management refers to the policies and guidelines governing how employees at all levels can use corporate resources when travelling for business purposes. If not managed properly, corporate travel can be a huge expense, eating up resources and time. Conversely, a well-managed travel management strategy can keep expenses under control, provide flexible travel options for people and makes for better documentation for VAT. Hence, we are looking at a way to improve your business travel management strategy.
Key areas to cover in creating a travel management strategy
- Set up a system for paying expenses for travel
- Establish rules for how to spend money on travelling, food and other expenses
- Ensure there is a protocol for safety
- There may be situations where managers have to give gifts – these situations can’t be avoided but be sure to budget for them
- Account for alternative transportation like cabs
Improve travel management
A better corporate travel management policy means more variety and flexibility when selecting hotels or even airlines. To keep costs under control, you can select a range of three or four-star hotels for employees to choose from. Having variety and choice incites a more positive response from people.
Organisations should simplify corporate travel management or at least present in a way that’s simple to understand. If employees see a thick document they have to read, chances are, they will not read it at all, which hurts compliance.
Address all points in the travel process
When planning expected costs be sure to account for all stages of the trip, beyond just airfare. Organisations should look into entertainment, tips, meals, accommodation and additional travel. By considering these expenses, organisations can devise ways to cut costs. For example, they can negotiate lower rates with some hotels.
Consider giving your employees more autonomy
The natural course of action is to place strict caps on how much employees can spend. However, research shows that giving employees more autonomy reduces the overall amount spent. For example, giving employees a set amount that they can spend per day gives employees more autonomy but also encourages them to be more responsible with company resources.
Safety and Security
While your employees are travelling abroad, they are representing an organisation and it is the organisation’s responsibility to provide safety and security. Security is even more important for employees travelling to politically unstable countries. Organisations can provide security and training for their employees or coordinate with International SOS for better medical and security services.
Forecasting a budget and setting daily limits
It is impossible to improve your corporate travel management strategy without budgeting. The best way to budget for travel is to use analytics and past data to get the average expense. Employees may stay at different hotels and choose different modes of transport, but by getting the average cost, organisations will get a firm idea of how much their employees spend, which means a more accurate travel budget.
An accurate travel budget leads to an improved corporate travel management strategy. Having the right budget also makes it much easier to set limits on spending. Setting limits is crucial, especially for organisations planning to give employees more autonomy in their spending.
It is impossible to improve your corporate travel management strategy without considering corporate travel compliance. Communication and training are two of the best methods for improving compliance because organisations need to be aware of the policies and procedures of corporate travel, while travel managers need to know how to enforce the policies. Of course, one-off training is not enough, it is important to set up fresher courses to make sure employees don’t forget about the policy.
Enable a better corporate travel management strategy
A better corporate travel management leads to better budgeting and more efficient use of resources. Having better control over travel expenses also helps when reclaiming VAT. However, to reclaim VAT, organisations must have precise records of their travelling expenses, which can only be done with a better travel management plan.
Even with precise documentation, reclaiming VAT is a notoriously challenging task and organisations are better off working with a specialist company or (better yet) using a platform that knows the ins and outs of VAT.
VAT4U is the perfect partner for organisations hoping to reclaim VAT for travelling expenses. The cloud-based platform comes with several features to maximise VAT recovery, including the option to connect with several travel expense management systems. Organisations can synchronise data from several management systems onto a single platform to make their application as complete as possible – maximising VAT recovery and reducing the chances of queries and rejections.