Organizations establish business travel allowances to cover expenses incurred by staff during their corporate trips. Typically these reimbursements are made to cover the cost of hotel rooms, meals, and transportation. However, policies should extend to include anything required for the employee to conduct the official business outlined in their itinerary. There may also be additional provisions for longer business trips or where employees are required to entertain clients.
- Transportation expenses for additional travel outside employees' regular commute. This can encompass airfares, taxi or local transportation costs, car hire, motorway tolls, parking fees, and standard mileage rateswhen staff use their personal vehicles.
- A meal allowance for food and drink consumed on the business trip. Usually, this will cover breakfast and dinner only when there has been an overnight travel.
- Accommodation provisions.
- Cover for incidental expenses such as tips and gratuities.
- Entertainment expenses for cases where travelers need to step outside their food and beverage stipend for business meals or drinks with clients.
- Travel insurance policies purchased for the business trip.
- Costs for medical considerations such as vaccinations for international travel.
- Provisions for dry cleaning or other laundry services when employees are required to stay away from their usual work location for extended periods.
A game changer for compliance, automation also allows business travelers a level of control over their arrangements, improving employee satisfaction and saving precious time for busy travel managers.After returning from a business trip, organizations need to support employees with their expense reimbursement. After navigating hectic itineraries and missing time with loved ones, nothing makes corporate travelers more disgruntled than having to wade through a complicated travel reimbursement process.Setting clear guidelines and establishing a reasonable period of time to complete necessary admin is a vital gesture to ensure business travelers' hard work on the road doesn't go unappreciated. This information needs to be straightforward and standardized to aid compliance and save time for more valuable business tasks.
Established guidelines become especially important when businesses allow staff to add vacation time to their corporate trips. Designed to be an attractive fringe benefit, this could include traveling with family members or other non-employees after completing their itinerary for the company.In these instances, having a defined reimbursement system can assist team members in separating actual expenses accrued on business days from those incurred for personal reasons. Setting clear expectations can ensure employees keep original receipts and other documentation needed both for substantiation and for the company's tax purposes.Some companies offer staff a company credit card to use to simplify reimbursing travel expenses for corporate trips. Employees then need to demonstrate on their expense claims that all costs incurred were for business purposes and part of agreed travel allowances. Any excess amounts outside the company's policy would be paid out of pocket by the employee.This method of organizing travel expenses is prevalent where a company has team members who frequently travel for business. But, other businesses will ask employees to use their personal credit cards and claim for reimbursable expenses on their return.Whichever route they take, businesses need to spell out their approach to travel expenditure in their corporate travel policy. As a company, you need to outline the corporate travel regulations you want your employees to follow. Businesses might instigate these rules to keep travel costs in line with annual budgets, but corporate culture might also shape internal policies.For example, businesses passionate about sustainability will likely request employees take public transport over hiring rental cars wherever possible. Whatever rules and stipulations you put in place as an organization, outline and explain them as much as possible in your corporate travel policy.