Three Ways to Control T&E Spending Before it Becomes an Expense

Three Ways to Control T&E Spending Before it Becomes an Expense

Keeping up with today’s business travelers and their expenses on the road can be full time job for accountants and administrators back at the office. In fact, among the 50% of companies using some form of a manual process today, many require one or more full-time dedicated employees to just manage company travel and entertainment policies and reimbursement.

But some companies are taking control of T&E spending without adding overhead by using automated cloud-based system features that can stop out-of-policy transactions before they become expenses. How? Here are three automatic features that help contain employee spending and add real teeth to any company T&E policy.

Expense category spending limits
You don’t need an automated system in order to have expense category spending limits. But unlike a manual process, automation makes it much easier to enforce spending caps by incorporating company T&E policy directly into the system. For example, say your company has a $28 dollar limit for dinner per employee. If an employee spends $35 dollars and attempts to add the expense to their report, they and their manager will receive automatic notification that the expense is out of policy and not likely to be reimbursed. Now, there may be a great reason for the variance between expense and policy amount. At minimum, this feature adds a level of control by ensuring the expense won’t go unnoticed, and that any exceptions to the policy will be reviewed and discussed between the employee and management.

Point-of purchase policy tools
The Certify 2016 Expense Management Trends report found 85% of all companies have a written T&E policy in place. However, 73% of these companies enforce policy spending with a manual review process or by leaving it up to the responsibility of the employee. For added control at the point of purchase, many automated systems like Certify offer an instant policy check feature that reviews transactions as receipts are captured in the mobile expense app. Our Certify Mobile Instant Policy Check feature automatically compares expense amounts and currency types entered by a user against company policy for expense category maximums and currency settings. Employees are notified immediately of any violation and can correct errors before the charge enters the system as an expense.

Integrated travel and expense management
Using an integrated system for travel booking and expense management is an easy, automatic way to control your company T&E spending. With integrated travel, companies can employ a feature known as lowest logical fare. Lowest logical fare works by automatically identifying the best available rates for a proposed itinerary, and only the best available rates. How’s that for control? For travel arrangements that require a little more flexibility, these systems also offer a feature called pre-trip approval. As the name suggests, pre-trip approval adds greater control by requiring a manager to authorize travel costs prior to booking in the system. Pre-trip approval can also be configured for individual employees, specific policy variances and other exceptions.

The possibilities for greater control don’t stop there. For more information and to see other automated features that can help you better control your company T&E spending, check out today.