Get ahead of travel spending with Emburse Cards

June 15, 2021

5 min read

Picture of Certify Team

Certify Team

After travel took a steep dive in 2020, signs are pointing to a sharp return to travel. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) throughputs have steadily increased as vaccine rates increase. By May 2021, TSA screenings have skyrocketed over 400% compared to the same period last year.

As travel continues to pick up, having innovative technology can provide real-time transparency and control of travel costs while alleviating expense report headaches for business travelers.

Read on to learn more about how integrating Emburse Card issuing into pre-approved spend requests empowers proactive spend management and happy travelers.

Enhance accountability with spend requests

Controlling spend with pre-approvals is an easy way to gain better control and insight into upcoming expenses while placing responsibility on the traveler to make the business case for their trip.

With pre-approvals, the traveler must plan out their trip and all related expenses in advance, giving finance a better sense of upcoming costs—and an opportunity to avoid wasteful or out-of-policy purchases. The foresight helps with managing cash flow and setting expectations for the trip.

Yet, employees would still need to use their personal card to book the trip. For some frequent fliers, this is an ideal situation. For others, the thought of adding business-related expenses to their personal card is far from perfect.

Emburse Cards alleviate those challenges and more.

Better control and real-time data

Issuing every employee a corporate card doesn’t make much sense for the business. The application process with the card issuer adds time and complexity and doesn’t guarantee approval. The cards also lack a means to control spend before it happens, leaving the liability with the organization when it comes time to reimburse the expenses.

After a spend request is approved, the reviewer can automatically issue a virtual or physical Emburse Card tied to the trip. Granular spending controls ensure that the employee is only using the funds for approved expenses. Everything from the approved date ranges to spend amount to even merchant type can be programmed to ensure every purchase is policy-backed and aligns with the original request.

If something happens to change while they’re on the road, the traveler only needs to open their expense app and adjust the request. Their manager will receive a notification and can approve it on the spot, or ask for more information before proceeding.

Happier, more productive employees

There are soft benefits that come with card issuing and pre-approvals that shouldn’t be neglected. The solutions simply lead to a better employee experience for everyone.

The traveler has an easy way to make purchases from the road without reaching for their own card. Built-in controls guide their spending to keep everything within policy and within the pre-approved amount. In-app notifications signal when to add a receipt or other expense details. As a result, they’re free to focus on the trip at hand, which leads to better business outcomes.

Approvers also spend less time managing expense reports. Since the entire trip was already reviewed and pre-approved, managers don’t need to be as detailed in their review. This extra time to focus allows them to work on activities that more closely align with their contribution instead of fumbling through.

The benefits extend all the way to finance. As more travelers use pre-approvals, finance is armed with more accurate insight into upcoming liabilities. The finance team also has less worry around policy compliance since Emburse Cards enforce T&E policy at the point of purchase. Reconciliation simplifies since the card is tied directly to the expense submitter with proper documentation attached.

As a result, finance can manage cash flow better because they have greater confidence in their budgeted spend. It also provides a place to compare the actual costs to the proposal, giving them more insights into spending behavior and policies.

Issuing employees credit cards has always seemed impossible to implement. Now you can control spend before it happens and give employees a simplified method for capturing business expenses without less effort than ever before.

Want to learn how pre-approvals and Emburse Cards can help you chart an intelligent return to travel? Book a conversation to jumpstart your travel program today.