Technology Will Align Corporate Travel and Finance
Many companies have adopted applications to facilitate online corporate travel bookings, virtual payments, and automated expense reporting. What most of them are still missing is a way to streamline these technologies together. Post-pandemic, travel and finance departments are coming closer together in pursuit of efficiency and productivity — otherwise admins have to log into three different systems [for travel, corporate cards, and expenses] every day to do their job, and employees have to log into three different apps to book their trip and come back and to fulfill all the compliance requirements.
Skift and TravelBank’s recent survey clearly indicates that 2023 will be the year of travel technology investment and implementation. Savvy companies will create a win-win-win for employees, travel managers, and finance/accounting:
- 80+% of corporate travel budgets either increased or are flat since 2019 (more than 60% of budgets have increased)
- 75% of companies have altered travel budgets because of remote work
- 72% of executives agreed their corporate travel program are stronger now than pre-pandemic because of technology adopted in the past three years
- Approximately 40% of managers plan to adopt new corporate travel and finance software within the next year
Software Integration Is Key to Aligning Corporate Travel and Finance
Companies have the option to adopt and implement the latest corporate travel and finance technologies in any combination of ways. But they’re most effective when they can be accessed through integrated software. An all-in-one, end-to-end technology stack for travel, cards, and expenses that integrates with your existing accounting tools increases employee satisfaction, encourages compliance, lowers risk, and reduces costs. They transparently allow departments across the organization to understand planning, booking, support, payments, spending, forecasting, and more.
The question for many companies is less about where to find the right software and more about how to coordinate efforts across departments to start looking together.
- 74%of companies have corporate travel departments, yet decision-making for corporate travel is spread out across the organization.
- Nearly half of companies have executive management involved in their corporate travel budgeting decisions, another 40% involve both the corporate travel and finance departments, 28% include HR and operations, and one in six refer to individual department managers. That’s a lot of cooks in the kitchen.
The decision tree is relevant when looking at the sheer number of options companies have reported they’re exploring — from travel booking to virtual cards, and expense reporting to sustainability tracking. There are applications that perform these functions individually, and each one provides value. But because organizations often lack individual departments or roles responsible for travel, payments, and expenses all together, they end up with a smattering of point solutions that don’t communicate with each other.
The risk of defaulting to manual, Excel-based systems in an era where technology is advancing rapidly behooves corporate travel leaders to put their heads (and budgets) together with finance and accounting. Seamless solutions save money, time on reconciliation, and potentially reduces fraud and abuse.
>> Download the full research report from Skift: Essential Software for the New Era of Corporate Travel <<