Travel & Expense Policy: 6 Best Practices to Implement Today!

6 Travel and Expense Policy Best Practices | GTI Travel


When it comes to corporate travel a straightforward travel and expense policy that clearly states what is considered authorized business travel and lists types of covered expenses is vital. A business travel management company that provides corporate travel management solutions can help you create travel and expense policies and guidelines that that will keep your company and employees on the same page.


Tips On Best Practices For Corporate Travel and Expenses Policy

1. Keep It Clear

Having a reasonable, unambiguous written travel and expense policy is essential to ensure that employees understand what is expected of them when traveling for business. Many companies create these policies as an afterthought, which can lead to conflict, overspending and misunderstandings between management and employees.

2. Keep It Simple

If you keep your company’s travel and expense process straight and simple, employees will be more likely to comply with it. No one wants to be bogged down with tons of paperwork or have to jump through a bunch hoops to get pre-approval for a business trip. A system that is overly complex can also make exaggerated expenses and mistakes more common. A firm, fast process with clearly-defined timeframes for submitting expenses can improve employee morale and increase productivity.

3. Collect The Right Information

Make sure your employees submit receipts and are aware of the specific information that must be included on expense reports. The IRS requires proof for claimed business expenses, and gathering relevant expense information can help your company avoid headaches at tax time. Different types of expenses may require different information for tax purposes. For example, reporting entertainment expenses as a deduction requires the company name and names of all attendees. A business travel agency that offers corporate travel event management can make it much easier to keep accurate records of entertainment and other business travel expenses.

4. Reimburse Expenses On Time

Just as employees are required to submit expenses in a timely manner, do the right thing and pay them according to your company’s published payment timetable. Delaying payment of travel expenses can present challenges with adherence to procedures and policy, cause accounting and cash-flow issues, and lead to plummeting employee satisfaction.

5. Enforce Travel And Expense Policies

Regular auditing of receipts and expense reports can make your expense procedures work better and help to maintain a fair system. It is critical for managers to enforce policies and procedures when employees make dubious travel arrangements or submit incorrect or inappropriate expenses. Upper management should make sure that those responsible for approving travel expenses clearly understand policies, adhere to them and hold employees accountable for missteps.

6. Review And Update Policies & Procedures

Reviewing travel and expense policies and procedures regularly is a must to keep your system running smoothly. Periodically evaluating what works and what doesn’t will help you keep improving procedures and cut down expenses. Distribute the updated version of your travel policy and procedure and make sure to explain any changes.

Corporate travel companies can help you create specialized travel and expense policies and procedures that will help you cut costs, increase employee adherence and make business travel more efficient and hassle free for everyone involved.

Bleisure Travel: Have a Little Fun on your Business Trip!

Bleisure, the practice of combining business and leisure travel, is a way for corporate travelers to reap the benefits of some of the more affordable or free perks business travel provides. Mixing business with pleasure can be an exciting adventure, and if you’re in a city you’ve always wanted to visit, why not explore?

Whether you’re planning an extended stay or just taking a few days off, knowing you have some downtime after you’re done with a bunch of stressful meetings or a conference gives you something to look forward to. Since your employer most likely picked up the tab for your airfare, you’re saving some cash that can be spent on doing things you love after work is done. Bleisure can be complicated though, so it’s good to keep a few things in mind before you plan your trip.

Plan Ahead

Many organizations use business travel planning companies to take care of travel arrangements for their employees. Business travel agents will help you find the flights that fit your needs and can often get you a deep discount on accommodations, even if you’re staying after your business duties are over.

Another advantage of Bleisure is being able to use some of the perks of airline frequent flyer miles and car and hotel loyalty programs. Many people who travel frequently for business quickly accumulate these points, and you can use them for special perks like free upgrades, free hotel stays, tickets to shows and more.

If you want to bring your family or a friend who will enjoy the sights while you work, corporate travel services companies are also well-versed in the travel policies of the organizations they work with; and can advise on your company’s travel policy when it comes to combining business with personal travel. This can make it much easier to plan your trip and ensure that you’re not violating any of your employer’s rules or procedures regarding corporate travel.

Timing is Everything

If possible, schedule meetings or other work-related activities on Mondays and Fridays; that way you can plan a weekend getaway for the price of a couple of hotel nights without having to take any days off. The company that provides corporate travel services for your organization may also be able to help you secure corporate discounts for those nights as well.

If you can’t stay an extra day or two, there are plenty of ways to blend leisure time into your corporate travel.

  • Get together with family or friends at your destination.
  • Go see a concert, visit a museum or catch a show after you’re done for the day.
  • Try the local cuisine at a restaurant and grab a drink at a local hot spot.
  • If you have some free time during the day, check out open-air markets.
  • Take a bus or walking tour of the area.

Having the opportunity to travel to a destination you might not otherwise visit can give you valuable cultural knowledge and experience that you may be able to use in the workplace. Using corporate travel services can make Bleisure a breeze and allow you make the most of your time on the road.