What is a corporate travel expense policy?
A corporate travel expense policy determines how travelers should approach travel expenses. This policy is often part of the wider corporate travel policy. The policy helps businesses to conduct cost-effective travel and ensures that travelers book travel that is compliant, comfortable, and safe.
What should a corporate travel expense policy cover?
The corporate travel expense policy should outline the budgets that are assigned to travelers. This will often vary depending on the length and destination of the journey, as well as the seniority of the traveler.
Travelers use the corporate travel expense policy to get important practical information like:
- Which expenses are reimbursable
- The amount of funding they will receive
- Information about exchange rates
- How to report expenses
- The amount of time until expenses are reimbursed
Which travel expenses are generally reimbursable?
This varies from one business to the next and the answer is outlined in the corporate travel policy. The following expenses are often reimbursable:
- Travel insurance
- Travel (air, taxi, train fares)
- Certain entertainment
- Business gifts
- Expenses of spouses
- Card fees.
Where is a corporate travel expense policy found?
The corporate travel expense policy is often found in an organization’s corporate travel policy. The information within the policy must be accurate and up-to-date to avoid confusion and ensure travelers book compliant travel. Significant updates to the policy should be communicated rapidly.
How does a company create a travel expense policy?
The travel expense policy is a tool to help businesses achieve strategic objectives: it can help to reduce costs while also keeping employees safe and comfortable.
This means it should accommodate for the needs of travelers while also helping to foster relations with preferred suppliers. Rather than becoming a source of friction for employees, it should be seen as a powerful tool that establishes clear guidelines and empowers travelers with choice.
Are travel expense policies required by law?
The specific laws will vary from one country to the next, but there will often be a legal precedent that demands employers reimburse those expenses incurred by a traveler during a business trip. It is important that business and organizations properly understand their legal obligations before creating the corporate travel expense policy.