The average US business trip cost is $1293. Corporate travel expenses stack up, and it’s essential that businesses keep track of their travel expenditure.
Managing travel is a lot of work—but expense management solutions ensure you’ve got a strong overview of all your travel expenses.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- What is travel and expense management software?
- When is it the right time to find a travel and expense management solution?
- What should you look out for in T&E software?
- 6 of the best travel and expense management solutions
With the right tools and software, business travel becomes a lot easier to book, amend and manage. It also can help save money and avoid any overspending, which is essential for small businesses with limited budgets.
What is travel and expense management software?
Travel and expense management software is an all-in-one system that can help you manage and track your business travel spending. Whether it’s booking travel, managing traveling employees, or creating expense reports—T&E management software is a must for businesses sending employees on corporate travel.
Businesses of all kinds can benefit from corporate travel and expense management software. It's key to ensuring you’ve got a comprehensive overview of your corporate travel spending and experienced customer support if you encounter any difficulties. It also helps with booking travel in line with your corporate travel policy and streamlining your invoice process.
Let’s take a look at exactly when your organization should consider investing in a travel and expense management solution.
When is it the right time to find a travel and expense management solution?
How do you know if your company could benefit from a travel and expense management solution?
The tell-tale signs are easy to see, let’s take a look:
Your company is spending too much on business travel
It’s easy for a company to spend too much on business travel—travel and expense management solutions can help identify where you could be saving on your travel budget.
Travel and expense software can also help find you better deals on travel and accommodation with negotiated rates. Better deals help you lower your overall travel spending—making life a lot easier for your corporate travel manager.
Travel and expense management solutions are a win-win for saving on your travel expenditure.
Business travel reporting is a hassle
Business travel is a balancing act and often you’ll find that the workload your finance manager is faced with is overwhelming. With 96% of employees believing empathy is important for improving employee retention, being attentive to your workforce is key.
Travel and expense management software can help provide a solution to those employees who are responsible for organizing business travel, tracking, and monitoring. A T&E software solution can help make corporate spending more manageable, as well as provide a better experience for your travel manager.
Your corporate travel is inefficient and confusing
If your corporate travel leaves employees guessing, then travel and expense management software like this can be helpful.
Employees should feel confident in their business travel and know what regulations are in place, like your company’s travel policy for example. That means providing them with the support they need to help book travel efficiently and within the boundaries of the company’s travel requirements.
Travel and expense management solutions help you streamline corporate travel from start to finish. Intuitive tech makes for a smoother booking process, and the support offered ensures your employees always know what’s going on.
What should you look out for in T&E software?
When deciding on travel and expense management services, it's important to know what features you should be looking out for.
Consider using a travel management company—alongside expense management, these platforms enable companies to manage all things business travel. Whether it’s travel booking, traveler tracking, flight changes, or any other corporate travel need—travel management solutions can help simplify your corporate travel.
The team or manager responsible for booking corporate travel should consider the following factors, and how important they are for their travel unique needs.
A user-friendly travel management platform
A good feature to look out for in your T&E software provider is how user-friendly it is. You need to ensure all employees can use the platform—from your IT interns to your CEO.
Hard-to-use software leaves room for silly mistakes—you want to make the process as simple as possible.
Consider the dashboards that users see when using the software—is it confusing and outdated? Or is it intuitive and modern? You want a solution that everyone in your organization can easily navigate—from travel managers to traveling employees.
Look for an expense software that has a comprehensive approach to onboarding, or—better yet—a solution that doesn’t require in-depth knowledge to manage business travel. Where possible, request a demo before committing to a purchase.
Multiple user profiles for seamless travel management
The ability to create multiple user profiles is essential for managing your corporate travel program. Different employees have different roles—not all of them require the same access to your travel management solution. For example, the finance team needs access to all the expenditure information—the marketing intern handling your socials does not.
This also makes life a lot easier when it comes to spend management and accounting. User profiles ensure your team can easily manage expenses for each individual user at a glance—instead of having to decipher who spent what.
When using a software solution like this, having multiple user profiles can be good for business expenses and separating those who may have more budget than others do. This is also useful when some executive employees have their own company credit card and extra benefits.
Travel policy integration and compliance
Your organization likely has a company policy or expense policy when it comes to corporate travel (if it doesn't, feel free to refer to our sample company travel policy for employees to help to create your own).
Your travel policy outlines the rules relating to travel spending, and ensures your employees stay within your travel budget. The software you choose should integrate with your travel policy. That way, you can keep track of travel expenditure and ensure your employees remain in-budget on their travels.
A seamless reimbursement process
Maintaining an accurate overview of business expenses is essential for healthy business management, particularly when it comes to SMBs.
Reimbursing your employees should be a priority, especially when they’re being left out of pocket by the business they work for—affecting employee satisfaction.
Expense tracking and receipt scanning capabilities help manage expenses and reimbursements efficiently. Receipt scanning, for example, ensures all employees are providing accurate expenses and that you have evidence of it for VAT and tax purposes.
Automate approval workflow and reporting
You want a solution that excels when it comes to automating travel reports and workflow rules. It helps speed up your corporate travel process from start to finish.
Whether it's getting approval on proposed trips or automating the invoicing process—you need a tool that streamlines your travel booking and reporting.
Need an easier way to manage expenses for business travel?
Read our 3 step guide on automating expense management for business travel
Seamless integrations with existing tools
Most travel and expense management systems will offer a variety of third-party integrations—if they don’t, you might want to consider another solution. Integrations are essential for ensuring a seamless travel management process.
You want to look out for integration capabilities with tools you’ll use alongside your solutions, such as:
- Accounting software
- Travel management software
- Time-tracking tools
- HR tools
- Team management software
- Calendar software
Integration capabilities differ from solution to solution, so make sure to pick a T&E solution that integrates with everything you need.
The best travel and expense management solutions
Now you know what you’re looking out for in your travel expense management software solution, let’s take a look at the top six softwares available to you. When booking corporate travel here are some helpful suggestions of platforms to use in 2023.
TravelPerk is a business travel management platform that helps customers easily book and manage corporate travel. The solution integrates with other tools including many popular expense management solutions, including Rydoo and Circula. This ensures you’ve got everything you need on one easy-to-use platform.
TravelPerk’s main benefits include:
- Access to multiple user profiles for booking travel
- Guest profiles for non-employees who need to book and manage their business travel
- Company policy compliance when offering booking options
- Third-party integrations with popular tools like Expensify, Ratehawk, and BambooHR
- Excellent 24/7 customer support with a 15-second response time
- Advanced reporting and insights for a comprehensive overview of spending
- Quick VAT recovery solutions—find out how much you could be saving with TravelPerk’s VAT recovery calculator
TravelPerk also offers a flexible travel solution—FlexiPerk—to help businesses limit unnecessary travel spending. With FlexiPerk, businesses can claim at least 80% of their money back when canceling up to two hours in advance.
Businesses can also keep an eye on their sustainability goals with GreenPerk—TravelPerk’s carbon offsetting solution. Businesses can book business travel with the environment in mind, and support green initiatives hand-picked by the TravelPerk Sustainability team.
TravelPerk’s comprehensive travel management solution is easy-to-use, and the expense management integrations enable one simple workflow for all corporate travel needs. TravelPerk offers everything that you need from your travel and expense management solution.
Try TravelPerk today to discover its high-quality, professional services first-hand, and start simplifying your corporate travel process.
Fyle is an expense management software that enables businesses and employees to better manage the expense and reimbursement process. Alongside accounting and employee data integrations, Fyle also integrates with TravelPerk to offer seamless travel expense reporting. It gives finance managers complete control and visibility over T&E processes.
Fyle’s main benefits include:
- Easily manage receipts and business travel details
- Save or submit digital expense reports through a central dashboard
- Ensure travel compliance with set business travel expense reimbursement policies
- Access to credit card management software—useful for monitoring and processing company credit cards
Fyle can’t help with organizing corporate travel, but its integration with TravelPerk gives travel managers one place to manage all business travel processes. Any trips booked with Travelperk will be created as expenses within Fyle with invoices added to the booking as attachments. The two solutions work side by side to give you a complete overview of your travel spending.
Fyle provides a simple platform that—when integrated with your favorite solutions—offers a seamless travel and expense management process.
3. SAP Concur
SAP Concur is an all-in-one travel and expense management software. It helps automate your work processes for a simple travel management experience. Whether it’s on hotels, airline tickets, or cabs—it’s all covered.
SAP Concur’s main benefits include:
- Reduce overall costs with control over your travel and expense management
- Improve your compliance and help mitigate risks
- Simple implementations with cloud solutions
- A scalability solution for growing businesses
- Mobile optimized for those looking for mobile app capabilities
SAP Concur—like TravelPerk—offers a complete solution for managing business travel and expenditure. However, TravelPerk has a lot more to offer for smaller businesses when it comes to booking corporate travel:
- A larger inventory means TravelPerk offers better deals from a wider variety of travel providers, including flights, accommodation, and car hire.
- SAP Concur’s pricing can be difficult to estimate with many features being optional additions. With TravelPerk, you pay when you travel—no unexpected fees or add-ons.
- TravelPerk’s platform is easy to implement and use, whereas SAP Concur users often report the tool being ‘clunky and not easy to use’.
TravelPerk helps businesses save on travel and seamlessly manage expenses with no hassle. SAP Concur offers similar solutions, just without the intuitive interface and expert support team.
TravelBank is another platform that offers expense and travel management all in one place. TravelBank helps streamline your travel and expense management through a number of solutions.
According to TravelBank, its main benefits include:
- User-friendly design and fast expense reimbursement process
- Create and deploy customer travel policies and expense allowances
- 24/7 customer support for traveling employees
- Import transactions from personal and corporate cards/banks for speedy expense management
TravelBank offers similar benefits to TravelPerk, but the latter triumphs with a number of additional capabilities:
- TravelPerk’s FlexiPerk provides flexible travel options for businesses
- With TravelPerk you only pay when you travel—TravelBank provides a subscription-only service
- TravelPerk offers more third-party integrations that TravelBank
Overall, users report finding TravelPerk easier to set up, use, and administer than TravelBank. Reviewers find that TravelPerk meets their needs better than TravelBank, and that the high-quality support provided by TravelPerk’s customer support team can’t be found elsewhere.
Click below for a more detailed comparison between both platforms:
5. Zoho Expense
Zoho Expense is considered one of the top expense management platforms available to businesses. It offers both expense management and corporate travel solutions to businesses of all sizes. It's a great solution for growing businesses that need simple, scalable solutions for expense management.
According to Zoho Expense, its main benefits include:
- Streamlined corporate travel with automated expense reporting for each trip
- Notifications to alert team members of updates and changes
- Real-time spend visibility for an up-to-date overview of any expense data
- Analytics that can highlight changes required for better travel and expense management
Whilst Zoho Expense offers a comprehensive suite of features, there are areas that customers aren’t quite satisfied with—such as customer service and inventory capabilities. TravelPerk solves these main points by offering:
- High quality 24/7 customer service in 15 seconds or less
- An industry-leading inventory that offers the best deals on the market
- Key features like carbon offsetting and VAT recovery
- An easy-to-use interface and workflow
Zoho Expense’s main offering is expense management, meaning they fall behind when it comes to corporate travel. TravelPerk provides a seamless approach to both corporate travel and expense management with an innovative platform and intuitive integrations. Plus, users rate TravelPerk higher than Zoho in all key areas—such as ease of use, quality of support, and product direction.
6. Emburse Certify
Emburse Certify is an expense management software that offers both the option to book travel from its in-platform booking tool or by integrating with another travel management system.
With Emburse Certify, you can deliver expense reports, organize accounts payable, and quickly manage invoices all on one platform.
According to Emburse Certify, its main benefits include:
- Workflows for efficient, reliable, and data-rich employee expense management
- Policy compliance with built-in policy controls
- Supports over 140 currencies and 64 languages
Emburse Certify offers a powerful expense management solution for businesses big and small, and—when paired with a TMC like TravelPerk—helps you ensure all travel and expenses are under control. TravelPerk helps you manage all things corporate travel, and Emburse Certify streamlines the expense management process—a match made in heaven.
Invest in travel and expense management software
Travel and expense management solutions can help companies organize and manage corporate travel and its associated expenses. With the right expense management process in place, businesses can help cut costs and hassle.A comprehensive travel and expense management solution helps both the travel manager and the finance manager create more cost-effective travel programs. Get in touch today to find out how TravelPerk can simplify your corporate travel, and provide key insights for continually improving your travel processes.
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