There was a time when companies favored face-to-face meetings to establish, maintain and grow business relations. But when the economic and market conditions became volatile and unpredictable the companies and enterprises were forced to look for green pastures. The advancements in communication technology in the form of internet, email, VOIP, video conferencing, and so on made companies to look at technology as a less expensive replacement for face-to-face meetings. Advocates of virtual meetings considered it as a great time and money saver. But the fact of the matter is however cost effective or time saving option virtual meetings might be, nothing can replace the human elements that is ingrained in face-to-face meetings. These human elements go a long way in developing mutual trust, good faith and confidence, which no amount of virtual meetings can bring about. Hence, in today’s global business environment, business travels are the indispensable tools for building and fostering business relationships.
It is a fact that in a slow economy steps must be taken to cut back on costs but it should never be at the cost of company’ potential growth prospects. Business travel is definitely one of the largest corporate costs but rather than reducing business travel budgets, a proper management of business travel expenses can do the trick. Instead of taking extreme cost cutting measures that impede company’s progress and development, enterprises should look at effective business travel management to facilitate continuous growth and development.
In today’ tight unpredictable economy, most companies and enterprises cut down business travel budgets as a means to tide over financial crisis. Such a move do more harm than good since studies have proved that those companies that increase their business travels during economic slowdown succeed in making new business deals than those who cut down business travels. Hence, what is required is the development of business travel management as a core function of businesses. This would help companies to
· Properly manage company’ travel policy
· Negotiate shrewdly with vendors
· Efficiently manage day-to-day activities of the corporate travel program
· Ensure adequate levels of safety and security for travelers
· Proper credit-card management
· Effective management of travel and expenses (T&E) data
More and more companies are now depending on expense management software for effective corporate travel management. This helps them to lower direct travel costs, to speed up employee’s travel administration, to ensure that internal rules and policies are followed, and to achieve better travel spend analysis.
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The aggressiveness of a competitive market has given birth to business expansions across geographical boundaries. With a multicultural workforce and customer base spread across various regions, traveling to these locations is imperative. Though with a number of technologically innovations these are possible over wide corporate networks, but an in-person interaction makes a matters a lot different. Therefore, one of the strategies of the budgetary committee of an organization is to manage the travel and expenses of the top-of-line-executives to be kept at a minimum.
Understanding the expanding business world, a number of organizations have entered into providing software services for handling the business travel management. Of these the leaders in the industrial sector providing these services have exploited the benefits of cloud computing and developed and designed software, which is delivered through the cloud and handles the travel and expense management of the organizational employees.
Being cloud based, this software provides an end-to-end visibility and control of travel management and business travel expenses. In other words a better spend analysis than the traditional expense management software. With a travel business network of banks, travel account holders, international booking systems, hotels, travel agents as well as car rentals, these service providers also has an integrated easy–to-use interface with account & invoice handling and a travel profile management system. In other words, this software automatically controls and optimizes the travel expense management of the organization.
The expense management software has the business process rules configured for customization. With a set of simple to use interfaces and end-user tools, it facilitates the profile management of the customers and also provides a wide range of tools for the administrative purposes such as business process rules configuration and master data management. The use of such cloud based integrated software facilitates organizations to significantly reduce travel administration costs by nearly 75%, provides compliances with tax and regulations, Security of data as well as company and traveller profile management.
The pre-integrated business network of banks, travel agents etc facilitates accounts settlement through electronic payment process and can also be seamlessly integrated for expedition of travel claims, besides other HR functions. All these strategic roadmaps make the Expense management software a customer friendly package.
Globalization has opened up new avenues for companies and organizations to explore. However, with economic uncertainty looming large, companies and organizations are under increasing pressure to cut down their costs and the first casualty of such volatile economic and market conditions would often be corporate travel. But in the current business scenario where globalization has resulted in companies having partners, branches, and associates regionally as well as worldwide, corporate travel has grown from being a mere choice to a necessity.
With today’ technology there can be no shortage of communication devices that favor business communication but it can never be a substitute for face-to-face business meetings. Though switching to informal means of communication such as teleconferencing, emails, videoconferencing saves time, money, and effort; it lacks the effectiveness that business meetings bring forth. Business meetings play a greater role in building, fostering and fortifying relationships when compared to other forms of business communications.
When the global economy is faltering something needs to be done to rein in expenses and therefore companies and organizations cannot be blamed when they resort to drastic measures such as cutting back on business travel. However, when considering the advantages of business meetings, it is important that the companies and organizations take a moment to ponder whether such cutbacks are actually worth it. Instead of restricting business travel budgets and thereby forgoing the immense advantages of business meetings, companies and organizations must manage their travel and expenses smartly. And the most apt way of doing it is to get the help of good travel expense management software.
Benefits of Travel Expense Management Software
The benefits of having travel and expense management software are manifold. Let us look at some of the significant benefits.
· It helps to reduce drastically the costs i.e. not only the travel costs but also the travel administration costs.
· Each company and organization has its own internal rules and policies regarding business travels. The software ensures compliance not only with these rules and corporate policies but also with tax laws and regulations and thus secures hassle free business trips.
· It cuts down the drudgery involved in traditional approach that of manual paper based processes thereby accelerating the travel claim approval process.
· It enhances employee satisfaction, as the processes are more organized and systematic.
· It helps in better cost management through its effective travel spend analysis.
To be brief, travel expense management software provides companies and organizations greater contr
ol and end-to-end visibility, which helps in effective management of business travels and its expenses.
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