Business travel is part of the everyday routine for lots of professionals. After the Covid-19 pandemic halted all travel, a recent survey estimated that in 2023 business travel will be back at 74% of 2019 levels.1
As professionals get back into the swing of business trips, and the inevitable travel expenses that go with them, we interviewed one of our expert account managers, Lucie, to ask for her top tips for efficient and stress-free travel spend management.
Business travel is one of the most frequent use cases I help our clients optimise with Mooncard. Having travelled for business a lot myself, I know first-hand the pain points that the expenses can cause for the professionals who are travelling, and the businesses who are managing the costs.
- Lucie, spend management expert and account manager
5 tips for efficient business travel expenses
1) Have a Clear Business Travel Expenses Policy
One of the most important things for any company is to have a clear policy that is communicated to employees before they travel. Teams can check their allowances and pre-validate any ad-hoc or out-of-policy spend beforehand. This will avoid confusion and potential issues after payments have been made. I would also suggest making the policy available in a format that can be accessed easily while traveling. Saving the policy on a online tool such as Notion or Google Drive is a good option and I always recommend Mooncard users download our App to see all their card settings such as daily limit and authorised spend categories.
2) Appoint a Dedicated Travel Policy Manager
Having a designated person who manages your company's travel policy and is the point of contact for suppliers and team members can be very useful. Not only can a travel manager help make sure the policy is applied correctly all the time, but it is easier to optimise costs and update your travel and expense policy if one person has an overall view of what the company is spending on business travel, where, and how.
3) Track Your Travel Spend
Business trips can become a significant cost, so it's important to track your expenses as soon as possible to optimise them and help with budget planning for the future. I suggest using analytical codes for different departments and types of activity such as trade fairs, accommodation, travel, and so on to make it easier and quicker to evaluate business trip expenses when you need. In the case of trade fairs and events, for example, this will also help you to have a better idea of the return on investment based on a complete view of the costs.
4) Don't Put Off Expense Reports
One of the biggest tips I can give to business travellers is to not put off your expense reports. Do them as you go if you can. The longer you leave them the higher chance there is that the receipt is lost, you forget what it was for or who was there. I recommend using an expense app for this, as it makes it easier to do reports on the move. I’m biased, of course, but the Mooncard app has some really great features such as being able to use it offline - perfect for those train journeys where the wifi or mobile internet just isn’t working.
5) Don't Forget Your Corporate Card and Check the PIN Code
It may seem obvious, but it's easy to forget important things like corporate cards and PIN codes when you're not frequently on business trips. For businesses, a spend management solution that has a virtual card function and a PIN code request feature in an app as a back-up can be very useful for your teams so they always have a back-up. And for business travellers, this will save you from any awkward moments of not being able to pay!
In conclusion, there are a few easy steps business and travellers can take to prepare in advance for their business trips, that can make their travel as smooth as possible. By having a clear policy in place, tracking expenses, and staying on top of expense reports, companies and professionals can save time and money, and avoid the stress of managing business travel expenses.
Interested in finding out how Mooncard’s solution could help your business optimise their travel expenses and spend? Chat to one of our experts to find out how our smart corporate cards, app, and management software could help your teams.
1 The Global Business Travel Review 3.0 published 2023 by The Advantage Travel Partnership.