Last week UK airport operator BAA announced that passenger numbers flying from its airports in August 2010 were down compared to the same time last year, with the exception of Heathrow. The capital’s biggest airport reported its busiest ever August on record, with 6.5 million people walking through the airport doors in August, a 2.5 percent increase from July. BAA commented that the surge in passengers through the airport was largely due to its greater exposure to the business travel sector.
It’s encouraging to see that after months of businesses tightening the purse strings and cutting back on business travel, organizations are beginning to get their employees back on the road. For many businesses, a certain amount of business travel is an essential part of their income and growth pipeline; however, it also brings about an increase in expense claims.
With this uptick in travel, the need to monitor and analyze travel spend becomes very important. Businesses need to make sure they are booking their travel through approved methods and suppliers in order to comply with policies and get the best deals. Employees also need clear guidelines on what they can expense back to the business whilst traveling – can they take a taxi, or do they have to use public transport? Is it acceptable to spend £100 on a bottle of wine, or should they spend no more than £50 for the entire meal?
An automated and integrated system such as Concur Travel & Expense not only enables businesses to clearly communicate and support travel booking methods and employee guidelines, it allows them to take control of every aspect of T&E spend. Through systems like this, travel managers have a clear line of sight into expected costs associated with trips.
As always, we’d love to get your thoughts on how you’re managing your travel expenses. Has travel picked up for your organization?