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Is your company asking you to pay for business travel out of pocket?

26 Sep 2022 5 MIN READ

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Is your company asking you to pay for business travel out of pocket?

If you’re someone who travels regularly for work, it’s possible you’ve been asked to pay for business trips upfront with your own money before. We feel your pain!

You wouldn’t believe how many companies ask their employees to do this. Not only is it a massive inconvenience for you, it can also be damaging in multiple ways for the company in question.

Unfortunately, there are no rules against companies doing this, but there are solutions.

Before we discuss those though, let’s dive deeper into why this is such an issue.

Why is this an issue?

From our own experience, companies that don’t have a travel management solution in place will very often ask employees to pay business travel expenses upfront out of their own pocket. For you the business traveler, and for businesses operating this way, this can cause all sorts of issues.

For Business Travelers

Inconvenience

Let’s face it, paying for plane tickets, train tickets, hotel rooms, ground transportation, and other travel costs yourself causes all kinds of stress.

First you have to waste time searching for booking options that are within your company’s expense policy. Then you need to keep track of what your actual expenses are, organize invoices, and probably submit an expense report. Then you have to wait for human resources to actually confirm your expense reimbursement and refund you.

This all takes up valuable time you could be using to do actual work.

Financial pressure

When your employer asks you to pay for business-related expenses with your personal funds, it can also cause unwanted — and sometimes unmanageable — financial pressure.

What if you can’t afford to pay out of pocket for these expenses at the time? Business-related travel does not usually come cheap. Airline tickets, rental cars, food, incidental expenses like tips and taxi cabs. It all adds up, and especially in recent times with inflation and the cost-of-living crisis, it’s completely reasonable if you just don’t have the money in your bank account to pay for corporate travel in advance on a regular basis.

Using your personal credit card/cash advances to pay for work-related travel may also not be an option for various reasons, so clearly this practice of paying for business travel out of pocket is not ideal for employees.

It can be damaging for businesses too.

For Businesses

Inefficient

Whether it’s a small business or a large corporation, making employees pay for employee travel and covering their expenditures later is inefficient.

This involves accounting for numerous invoices from multiple employees, with finance managers often having to chase down individual employees for each invoice. This is a massive waste of time. Time that could be spent doing far more important (and profitable) things.

Enforcing company policy

If a company’s employees are booking their own trips on consumer websites, it can be very hard for the company to properly enforce its company travel policy (feel free to refer to our sample company travel policy for employees to improve your own). It’s likely employees will sometimes choose overly expensive airfares and hotel rooms, and go beyond set travel policy.

This can very easily cause the budget allocated for business trips to be exceeded.

Employee (dis)satisfaction

As you probably well know, all of the issues involved with using your own money for business purposes can cause a great deal of dissatisfaction.

If businesses want to keep their employees happy and comfortable, they need to start doing things differently.

A better solution for everyone

If you are annoyed about having to pay for business trips in advance and you want to do something about it, it’s probably best that you go to your manager with a ready-made solution. One that will benefit both you and your company in several ways. Here’s why TravelPerk is the perfect option:

  • TravelPerk is a modern consumer-grade solution for managing all aspects of business travel. Booking, managing, reporting, expensing, and everything in between, it’s all covered with TravelPerk.
  • Your company can easily set up its travel policy with TravelPerk by setting the rules and processes within the platform. This means that all booking options outside your company’s travel policy will be clearly flagged. You will still be able to choose these options if you like, but you’ll need to get approval from the appropriate person within your company to do so. This can all be done through the TravelPerk platform, making it easy for you to always make bookings your company is happy with.
  • TravelPerk allows your travel manager to easily view, track, and manage all the company’s traveler data in real time. This means no more emailing back and forth, and no more wasting your precious time.
  • Centralized invoicing also allows for instant invoices after each booking, and customized reports detailing all traveler expenses. So chasing individual invoices will be a thing of the past.
  • With the world’s largest inventory of travel services, TravelPerk guarantees that your company will always get the best corporate rates on the market. So your company saves money, and you get an unrivaled choice of transport and accommodation options.
  • Among other benefits, if your company chooses TravelPerk as its travel management solution, you’ll never have to pay for business travel out of your own pocket again!

If you’d like to learn more about how TravelPerk can make life easier for you, and make your company more efficient and profitable, feel free to request a demo today.

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