Improving Company Travel Compliance While Keeping Budgets in Check

Many company’s chief financial officers will tell you that their employees do a very poor job of staying in compliance with their corporation’s travel policies. Others will tell you that they are constantly being asked to pay for expenses exceeding proposed budgets. This constant fight can be handled by making sure that travel policies are clear and up-to-date along with appropriating funds correctly. Many company’s chief financial officers will tell you that their employees do a very poor job of staying in compliance with their corporation’s travel policies. Others will tell you that they are constantly being asked to pay for expenses exceeding proposed budgets. This constant fight can be handled by making sure that travel policies are clear and up-to-date along with appropriating funds correctly.

Corporate Travel Policies

Regardless of a company’s size, they should have written corporate travel policies that are in line with the company’s culture. These policies should clearly spell out where employees are expected to book their travel or if they can choose to book wherever they find the best rates. Policies should also enunciate when corporate travel cards will be used and when employees can use their own credit cards while receiving compensation at a later date. Furthermore, the policy should state what class of flights will be covered and if particular airline alliances are preferred. The policy should state how to determine the type of accommodations the employee must choose along with how to determine an appropriate rate. Policies should also be put into place on car rentals, taxis and other forms of transportation allowing employees to understand when these expenses will be covered. Clear and realistic policies are likely to increase employee compliance.

Cost of Airline Tickets

The corporate travel policy should cover an estimate of a reasonable cost for airline tickets into different cities. Encourage employees to book as far ahead as possible by putting a requirement in place that tickets booked on short-term notice must be approved by upper management. Encourage employees to use exchange rates to the company’s advantage. Additionally, make it fun for employees to hunt down the best fare for their seats by splitting the savings with them.

Average Ticket Prices US to Major Destinations

 

Destination First Class Economy Class
US to Africa $5,800 $4,800
US to Asia $3,800 $2,800
US to Australia $5,800 $4.800
US to India $5,000 $3,700
US to Europe $3,500 $2,500
US to South America $3,800 $2,800

 

Corporate financial officers can help keep travel budgets under control by making sure that all policies are outlined clearly in writing so that employees know what is allowed and what they must avoid. The policy should cover all areas of travel including airlines, taxis, car rentals and trains. The written directions should also cover when a hotel will be paid for along with advice on picking out great ones at reasonable costs. Encouraging employees to save money by splitting the rewards with them when they find a great deal may also help keep costs in check.