Unauthorized employee spending, cumbersome statements to weed through, lost authorization forms, and stolen or misplaced corporate credit cards. These are just some of the headaches that travel managers encounter as they attempt to tackle corporate travel payments and the reconciliation of expenses. The good news is there are corporate travel payment solutions that allow you to overcome all of these obstacles while simultaneously creating more secure spending options that save your business time and money.
Establish a Formal Policy
First and foremost, the best way to streamline the management of your company and employee expenses is to have an unambiguous travel policy in place that defines how corporate travel payments will be handled. This can begin with the establishment of a preferred vendor list, combined with preset spending limits for approved expenses that can be applied to corporate and virtual credit card accounts. A formal policy integrated with the right spending tools, preapproved spending amounts, and easily trackable reporting, removes the opportunity for inappropriate employee spending and streamlines the reconciliation process.
The best way to take control of corporate travel payments is to supplement a formal travel expense policy with a corporate purchasing card and/or virtual credit cards that can automatically reinforce approved spending limits with accepted vendors. Every employee can be given a distinctive credit card number with preset controls that define when, where, and for how much the card can be used. New cards can be issued easily online and existing cards can be blocked or unblocked by administrators. Online controls give companies the ability to adjust limits as well as analyze and report on spending patterns for each individual employee. Businesses can also take advantage of cash back rewards on certain corporate purchasing cards.
Incorporate Virtual Credit Cards
If you want to take security to the next level, virtual credit cards are the ideal corporate travel payment solution. Virtual cards take all the convenience and control of corporate purchasing and offer it in an easily created single-use credit card number. Once the transaction is complete, the number becomes invalid, making fraud virtually impossible. Virtual card payments can be fully integrated with your ERP or accounting system for simplified reconciliation and reporting. This payment option also enforces employee compliance with T&E expense policies while reducing the risk of fraud associated with lost or stolen cards.
Whether your employees are using plastic corporate credit cards or virtual credit cards, managing travel and expenses becomes a whole lot easier when you incorporate mobile payment options. Mobile payments via free applications can instantly push reservation data to the traveler’s device where they can then re-fax hotel authorization forms, instantly submit receipts, and have real-time communication with administrators if additional spending limits and approvals are needed. These capabilities enable travel managers to quickly pull reports based on traveler, trip or department, all of which eliminates billing hurdles and streamlines the reconciliation process.
Automate the Expense and Reconciliation Process
Corporate purchasing cards, single-use virtual credit cards, and the supporting mobile apps are the cornerstones to automation of travel expenses and reconciliation. With these tools in place, every trip, traveler, and transaction is easily tracked. Subsequently, reports can be pulled and submitted based on the detailed criteria that works for your business and travel management company. Ultimately, automating these processes gives you more control, more security and more time.
Creating an effective corporate travel payment solution does not have to be complicated. The resources are available and with the proper guidance and partnerships, these 5 tips for T&E expense management will ensure that your corporate payment solutions are easily integrated, secure and timely.