Like everyone else, universities and colleges are increasingly being scrutinized over budgetary matters. It’s a fact that travel and entertainment (T&E) expenses for faculty, administrators and staff is a “cost of doing business” to keep institutions at the forefront of academia. But unclear or non-existent standards for managing that spend can quickly lead to unwelcome and excessive expenses that could land an institution in hot water.
For those institutions that want greater transparency, actionable data and a customized level of control over their expenses, a quick read through Quocirca’s white paper: It’s not academic: Dealing with expenses in education will help.
This white paper identifies several areas of concern and strategies for improvement that most institutions should consider when reviewing their T&E expenses. A main challenge to this is that while allowing a great deal of ad hoc purchases can definitely be wasteful for these institutions, strictly following uniformed policy guidelines (a one-size fits all approach) will never work.
Whatever solution a college or university implements, it must have intelligent rule flexibility and robust reporting for travelers to spend what’s necessary and for administrators to see, in detail and through trends, where money is going and for what purpose. This allows institutions to stay visible within their communities and gain the tools to eliminate fraud and excessive expenses while identifying best practices and areas for cost savings.
In the white paper, Quocirca gives a modest example of how much ($100,000) a typical, large university can save if their system can shave just 5 percent off of their T&E budget.
For those of you that work in higher education, how does your organization handle T&E expense?