The latest business travel statistics

The latest business travel statistics

Business travel is necessary for many different firms in a multitude of sectors. There are innumerable reasons that a company would need to send its employees to off-site locations. For example, to help foster relationships with potential clients, to lend personal expertise to other sectors of a national company or to attend an important conference. Regardless of the reason, though, many companies across the country spend significant amounts of money sending their workers to other locations on behalf of the business.

Traveling employees, in fact, contribute to a very significant part of the entire U.S. economy. American companies spent roughly $225 billion sending their employees on business trips during 2012, according to a report from Travel Effect and the U.S. Travel Association. These business trips have supported 3.7 million jobs and have generated approximately $35 billion in tax payments.

Additionally, Travel Effect reported that travel budgets have begun to increase among American businesses after years of decline. Though travel spending decreased substantially in 2008 and 2009, companies have begun to increase the amount of money they dedicate to travel. Average company business trip budgets have increased in each year since 2009, with the survey suggesting that the trend will continue through 2013.

Offering a high return on investment
Business trips incur high costs for many firms, but the payoff can be massive - business travel improves global corporate productivity and yields a return on investment of 10-to-one, according to a study commissioned by the World Travel and Tourism Council. Executives reported that 29 percent of their newly obtained sales depended on employees being able to travel on behalf of the company. Additionally, business travelers themselves reported that 50 percent of prospective clients become customers after a trip has allowed an in-person meeting to take place - compared to the 31 percent who become clients if a business trip facilitating an in-person meeting doesn't occur.

Travel Effect and the U.S. Travel Association, citing figures provided by Oxford Economics, also found that business trips can offer extremely large returns on investment. The firm reported that for every dollar invested in travel, businesses benefited from an average of $12.50 in increased revenue and $3.80 in new profits.

Help keep budgets low with automated expense reporting software
The funds spent sending employees on business trips often offer extremely high ROI rates. However, there are steps that businesses can take in order to keep initial costs as low as possible: for example, employing the help of automated expense report management software.

Creating and publishing expense reports manually can be costly. Employees are forced to spend valuable traveling time collecting, organizing and entering data derived from their receipts, negatively impacting their efficiency and productivity levels while traveling. Additionally, accountants must be on staff to help cross-check the expenditures with company policy and to validate the data entry. Even still, managers are unable to properly oversee costs as they are incurred, which could lead to inflated and unexpected reimbursement costs at the end of a reporting period.

With Certify's automated expense report software, traveling employees can log all their costs in a matter of moments. The program's linked mobile application allows individuals to simply take a picture of the receipts listing their work expenditures - no manual data entry is required. Certify's software collects all the pertinent information from the receipt automatically, and fills out the report without the employee having to do anything themselves. Now, traveling workers can focus their energies toward the task at hand, and away from pesky, time-consuming reimbursement requests.

Automatic expense report technology allows traveling employees to stop worrying about their reimbursements. They can now refocus their attention toward the tasks at hand, instead of toward their wallets.