Over the years, we have observed business and travel trends shift alongside technological advancements. And the past year has shown shifts continue to accelerate as we turn towards an ever-increasing global economy. And every business is not spared, from the biggest multinational corporation down to the smallest individual online shop. Read more
A mid-sized organization has its share of challenges especially in this era of technology and globalization. Particularly in business travel and expense management, finance managers in these organizations can find several pain points that eventually trickle its way to company operations, and finally the bottom line. Therefore, it goes without saying that an effective expense management tool is necessary for any organization if they want to succeed in what they do and find this success reflected in their financials.
Enter Gorilla Expense. Read more
Gorilla Expense makes travel and expense reporting a breeze with an easy, seamless, and scalable solution for businesses of all sizes. It provides smooth and automatic integration with Microsoft Dynamics GP. In fact, with Gorilla Expenses proprietary integration software, it all happens in just one click of a button. Read more
How much is it to travel from your main headquarters to your satellite office in another state? When you go around and ask your colleagues, odds are, they would have different answers.
This simple experiment shows just how easy and common it is for employees to make honest mistakes on their expense reports. The question is, however, are these really mistakes or deliberate misrepresentations? Read more
The holiday season can be stressful. When it comes to holiday-season business travel, not many has survived it without a hitch.
The thing is, packing and preparing for a business trip during the holidays is intensely nerve-wracking. You have to make sure you don’t forget anything. Over the many business travels that you’ve done, you may have gathered a few tips and tricks to get you by. However, as experience would tell you, something almost always happens to get you off-track. Read more
If you’re in the market for an expense management solution for your company, then you probably have an idea just how many solutions, technologies, vendors, features, and price points to choose from. All these can be overwhelming, not to add the available deployment options and the total business value each solution can potentially bring.
So, how do you choose the right expense management tool for you? Read more
The GBTA did a survey of more than 200 travel managers in the US on which expense types they mandate the usage of corporate card
No surprises that Airfare was the top at 67%. This is mainly to better manage the spend related to airfare and utilize programs and partnership with air travel vendors. Plus, in some cases, if tickets are canceled or modified, corporate cards have discounted change-fees for being part of the air travel vendor program. Closely following the Airfare expense type are Lodging and Rentals both of which maintain a similar philosophy.
Charging meals to the corporate card provides greater visibility from a compliance perspective. This is especially true if meals are related to Entertainment type expenses. Companies are also increasingly asking employees to charge misc. business expenses like internet, phone calls, faxes etc. to the corporate card to prevent potential frauds. For sales people on the road all the time, the corporate card is a big convenience for mileage and gas related expenses as well.
So, how do your company stack up compared to this? Which expense types do you mandate your users to use the corporate card for? Let us know in the comments below.
Reference: GBTA April 2014 survey. Chart provided by Travel Procurement, part of BTN Newsletter
As part of a recent research, most managers and travel budget owners for small and medium businesses cited managing costs as the primary goal for 2014. The methods companies use to achieve this goal, vary widely within the SMB segment. The travel spend for companies in this group range from less than $2MM in annual US booked travel to $12MM on the high end.
Most SMBs struggle with the same challenges – lack of internal resources to manage T&E, no dedicated travel manager, missed supplier relationships and a general cookie-cutter travel management program setup by the travel agency, if one exists at all. The best of breed companies may have better control on travel spend with elaborate procurement strategies and internal resources that manage the company’s travel program and spend carefully. These resources typically report to the CFO, thus offering the finance office full visibility into spend.
The reason that travel management as a concept is a challenge for SMBs is because there are many factors that drive a company’s travel strategy: travel patterns, international vs domestic, company culture, senior management’s support, business focus and others. Regardless of the status quo, it is never too late for a company to manage its travel and T&E processes more efficiently.
“I don’t believe there’s a company out there that can’t benefit from some level of a managed program,” said Directravel president Sam DeFranco. “When a company feels like there’s a lack of control of their spending and they only have basic expense processes in place, their antenna should be up.”
Several SMBs were focused on getting the right tools and processes in place in 2014. One was in the midst of “designing and implementing a full-scale travel management program,” while others were planning to implement a robust automated expense-reporting system as soon as possible in 2014.
In the various SMBs, even with senior management support, a planned travel policy, TMC relationship and T&E expense reporting solutions in place, companies reported ongoing challenges with compliance. Several of the companies reported their greatest travel management challenge today was to get travelers to comply.
“At larger companies, you’re dealing with a multitude of people that touch T&E,” said DeFranco. “At one company alone, you could have a travel manager, a director of procurement, a director of purchasing, expense management, HR and a risk manager. Inherently, the SMBs simply do not have the same infrastructure, so to compensate for that, the travel management company account manager essentially becomes an extension of the customer.” One company highlighted the biggest travel management challenge as “achieving objectives with limited resources.” It’s a position in which many managers in the small and midsize segments find themselves.
What are your challenges when it comes to managing travel and travel related expenses? What are your goals for 2014? Let us know in the comments below.
Reference: BTN, "BTN's 2014 Small & Medium Enterprise Report, Apr 15, 2014"
Carlson Wagonlit did a survey in November 2013 of 970 travel managers worldwide including 270 in North America. From the respondents, they found the top secondary spend categories that were critical to additional cost savings. Here are the results, with the top being ‘Roaming fees’ and the lowest cost savings coming from ‘Public transportation’ & ‘Parking’.
How does this compare to your company’s cost savings on secondary travel spend categories? Send us your comments….
CFOs across various businesses are increasingly paying more and more attention to the rising airline fees. Amadeus and Ideaworks estimate 2012 worldwide airline fee revenue at $36.1 billion which is estimated to be a 11% increase over 2011! TravelNerd put together a report and found that U.S. airlines changed more than 50 different fees since January 2012, in some cases fairly large changes. Here is a quick summary of the analysis by them –
- 36 out of the 52 fee changes are direct fee increases, with the remaining changes predominantly a result of:
- Bundling / unbundling of fees (e.g. instituting 1 fee for priority boarding and seating or instituting 2 separate fees for priority boarding and seating that were previously bundled into 1 fee)
- Increasing fee price ranges (e.g. Spirit changed its premium seat fees from $25-$75 to $12-$199)
- Redefining fee policies (e.g. Allegiant kept the same fee price of $50 for overweight bags 51-70 pounds but changed the fee policy to apply for bags 41-70 pounds)
- 28 out of the 52 fee changes are related to baggage fees, 19 changes are related to service fees, and 5 changes are related to in-flight fees
- Despite Spirit’s infamous $100 per carry-on bag fee, the majority of fee increases were within $5-$10
- 18 out the 52 fee changes are attributed to Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Air, ultra low cost carriers (ULCCs) notorious for charging fees
- Lastly, a small ray of hope comes from United Airlines, who reduced its overweight bag fees from $200 to $100 for bags 51-70 pounds and from $400 to $200 for bags 71-100 pounds
For the full report, see the original article here. (Thank you TravelNerd for this research!)
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