How to save on T&E costs?
Expenses management is an increasing challenge for companies. It becomes even more complex as they grow and the requirement for travels to meet customers and suppliers is becoming a daily routine. In this article, you will discover 5 ways to cut your travel and expense costs.
Establish an expense policy and stick to it
A lot of companies don’t have a clear travel policy. Without a policy, you will often see deviations between employees and teams. Some will go for the cheapest option. Some others will see business travel as a benefit and take advantage of this opportunity to make it more enjoyable. They will eventually go for 5 stars hotels and business class flights. This could create a lot of discussions afterwards when the employee will fill in its expense claim.
Your travel guideline needs to highlight what is allowed and what is not. Of course, you should allow exceptions to give some flexibility but then, those need some specific level of approvals. You should also set a travel allowance with a per diem amount of daily expenses to cover meals.
Plan and book early
Last minute business trips are usually pretty expensive. When hotels and flights are already pretty busy, you will have very little chance to get a good deal. So you will pay the high price while you could have saved a huge amount of money if you had anticipated a bit your travel booking.
It is a good practice to plan your schedule and book your air tickets and hotel nights at least 6-8 weeks before they happen. This will allow you to get a good fare, at least 30-50% less versus last minute bookings.
Save on IT costs
While travelling, making a phone call or using the Internet can be very expensive. The good news is that there are some ways to drastically reduce the bill. First for phone calls, opt for a solution like WhatsApp. It is perfect for messaging and voice communications. It doesn’t cost anything to use. You just need an Internet connection.
So you don’t have a WiFi connection? Don’t worry, WiFi Map will make it easy for you to find a free WiFi hot spot wherever you are in the world.
If you don’t have free data coverage and you don’t want to pay huge roaming costs, just buy a local limited subscription like a prepaid SIM card for a few days. This will allow you to make phone calls at a reasonable cost.
Track the expenses
A lot of companies are still using paper forms to report travel expenses. These are not really user-friendly to fill. They can be lost. It takes time to review and validate them. So this is not the most effective solution to report business expenses.
Nowadays, smart companies are using an expense account management software such as My Intranet to track travel and expense costs. The employee fills in its business travel expenses. Then it goes to the manager for approval. Alerts and reports are available to easily identify deviations to the policy. It saves time and reduces the risk of errors.
It is pretty obvious that the best way to reduce travel costs is to avoid them. A business trip isn’t always mandatory. An alternative can be used. A video conference will allow several people to get together and share a meeting. The quality level is so good that you will feel like you are in the same room. This solution will not only save travel costs but also all the time spent on it. Foreign travel can also have side effects such as jetlag.
The travel costs will quickly add up if you don’t pay attention to these. It can represent a significant part of your overall budget. So you need to take action today to control these.
You may also like: 5 Apps to Help You Save Money on Your Overseas Business Trip