What is compliance?

Business travel is growing quickly, contributing an estimated 1.23 trillion USD to the global economy in 2017 alone. Given the rapid growth of the sector, it is difficult for companies to ensure that they are compliant with complex international and local legislation in a range of areas. Compliance with these important tax, immigration, and duty of care laws is essential to avoid fines and other legal issues.

Why is compliance a challenge?

Compliance is divided into key areas, each having unique challenges:

Taxes

Depending on the destination and the nationality of the traveler, a range of personal and corporate tax issues can arise from a business trip. The trip could trigger formal tax obligations on behalf of travelers and companies, creating uncertainty and the potential for fines and losses.

Tracking these visits is very complicated. Companies need to closely monitor travel activities to ensure they are being compliant with legislation. This includes a range of variable such as how long a traveler has spent within a given country over a particular period of time, the type of work that was performed, and much more.

Immigration

Business travelers must secure the appropriate travel documentation before traveling. Failure to comply with the immigration laws of a given country could lead to fines, penalties, and travel restrictions. This is why companies must ensure they are protecting their employees by accurately tracking which employees travel, where they go, how long for, when, and for how long.

Duty of Care

Businesses also bear a duty of care toward their employees, and they must monitor the movement of their employees in order to manage risk and provide a safe work environment for business travelers.

Which department is responsible for compliance?

There is no one department which is responsible for compliance. This is one of the reasons that compliance is so complex and difficult to manage. Businesses use different departments: some rely on Mobility and Human Resources, while others might use Finance.

How do businesses ensure compliance?

Most businesses use a corporate travel policy to ensure compliance. This document can establish strict guidelines for business travelers to guide the entire travel process. This can be expanded to include guidance on how to ensure a trip is compliant from a tax and immigration perspective.