How to simplify your business travel and expense management

What’s more exhausting than business travel is submitting bills for reimbursement. It’s equally painful from the accounting and HR sides too. Yet regulating travel and expense management has always been brushed to the back burner. Whether it’s a manual or digital process, preserving the receipts till it gets uploaded doesn’t come easy to everyone. These complexities make employees loathe the old-school method of managing business travel expenses.

Not just travel expenses, any business expense of an employee goes through a series of cumbersome steps which could be shortened. But there has been a paradigm shift in this as companies are shifting to more efficient T&E processes. How do they do it? A company now should spend more money while sending money to its employees? Is there travel and expense software to track these expenses?

Why is it hard to track travel expenses for finance team?

The duties and responsibilities of the finance team end with allocating budgets and creating policies. They either create a travel policy or assign a limited budget for concerned employees up to which can be reimbursed. They find it hard to be on track with the travel and expense process for the following reasons.

Impractical travel policies

Not creating inclusive and transparent travel policies and not educating employees about this makes T&E maintenance unmanageable for finance teams. When employees were asked what has to be changed in their current T&E policy, their response was this. ‘We want our travel policy to be inclusive and flexible enough.’ So it is important to create a travel policy by considering employees' demands to avoid frustrations.

Incorrect closing

The time when money is reimbursed differs a lot from the time mentioned in the proof receipts. This time difference can complicate the closing process and can confuse the finance team by a huge margin. Besides, the finance team feels that they are constantly closing when the reimbursement requests keep coming in. nothing makes them toil more than incorrect closings and reconciliations when the accounts wouldn’t add up.

Too many teams involved

As a rule, the HR team handles reimbursement processes and does communicate with the employee while the accounting or payroll team releases the funds' post approvals. The finance team gets stuck in-between, and lack of communication skills can makes it worse. Reconciliation of expenses at the end becomes very problematic for them as there is no proper proof for them to refer to other than the bills.

Tips for making business travel and expense management easier

Taking specific measures can undoubtedly ease off the business travel expense management. Your employees need peace of mind while filing a claim request. Here is how you can simplify that.

Instant submission

Employees should be encouraged to submit the reimbursement as soon as the need arises. This way, they can ensure everything gets documented the right way, and the proofs are attached. Quick submissions are also beneficial for the accounting and finance departments as they process it instantly and close it at the right time.

Categorize expenses

Split the travel expenses into categories like food, travel, entertainment, etc. It is easy to keep track of it when categorized. Splitting into categories and adding the costs under respective columns is one best way to organize T&E. Your employees can follow these while submitting by adding labels. 

Do away with paperwork.

Whether it’s bills or manual registers where you write the expenses, it’s time you discard them for good. The manual travel and expense process only stresses you out if you cannot find a receipt or entry. They can get destroyed over time and need multiple files and cabinets to be stored. Ignore paperwork and move to digital solutions.

Take the load off from reimbursement process

The significant and key expense in any employee business travel is flight booking. Companies can follow either one of these steps to take this expense off the reimbursement request. Taking care of the bookings beforehand/partnering with travel agencies for instant ticket bookings. Providing preloaded company credit cards to employees through which they can manage bookings. This way, they don't have to submit their ticket booking receipts as it is already handled.

Redefine your travel policies

As explained already, travel policies should be analyzed and modified based on your company’s structure, employee’s requirements, travel or expense nature. You can include the inputs of your HR team, employees, and team accounting to not miss anything. Your finance team should give alternative options to employees, if an item couldn’t be added to the T&E policy.

Any modifications that happen in-between must be let known to all employees so that they can make arrangements accordingly.

It’s time to go online

Everything that has been suggested above is only a suggestion that can improve your current system. To bring transformations that would highly benefit your employees and teams involved, you need a reliable online portal where you can do automatic business and travel management. You will see how Volopay can be your expense tracking app in further sections.

What to look for when selecting business travel and expense management platform?

To select your corporate travel and expense software partner, refer to the following points. These guidelines can educate you on how an ideal travel expense tracking app should be.

Complete visibility

Ensure that the selected application will make the data transparent based on the kind of access the user or admin has. The claim requester should be able to see the status of their application, and the admin should be able to see every approved, rejected, received claim.

Flexible with different currencies

Business travel involves different countries, which means expenses will be in foreign currencies. Employees should be able to add receipts, charges in another currency and should be able to get the respective equivalent in their native currency.

Automated reports and reconciliation

Finance team should be able to generate T&E data anytime they want and reconcile it automatically or manually at frequent intervals. Also, they should get instant access to insights and predictions generated based on previous data.

Relevant page: How to follow the right travel expense audit procedures

Mobile app

A mobile application can make way for instant reimbursement as employees can choose or scan receipts right away and submit reimbursements in a few clicks.

Customization facility

You should be able to feed approver and auto-approval rules and make changes and exclusions here and there.


Frequent pop-up messages and enabling or disabling them should be made available.

Volopay’s expense management software for businesses of all sizes

Volopay is here to drive away your fear about business travel and expense management with its robust employee expense reimbursement and settlement module. This travel expense tracking app is enriched with every point discussed in the previous section and has many other benefits. It has mobile and web applications that give your employees privileges to submit claim requests within seconds and check status often.

Create accurate estimations, generate reports, check the status, details, and attachments of receipts, and reconcile expenses instantly through fail-safe integrations with other accounting applications, all in one platform seamlessly. No matter how unique your business travel policy is, you can turn Volopay’s function tailored to suit your needs.

Volopay’s expense and travel software turns your whole T&E management process mighty and lets you play around with multiple options. Say bye to manual work in managing the travel and expense process by cutting down paperwork, integrating the application smartly, and enabling automated workflows.

Related page: How to reduce T&E expenses for your sales team?

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