Recently we focused on expense fraud and asked business travel expert Elizabeth West about ways to help companies prevent it. She wrote:
While pre-trip approval has become de rigueur for many travel programs, a few companies have taken the idea a step further. Traditionally, pre-trip approval would include an estimate of air and hotel costs—and possibly car rental. Some companies, however, are asking travelers to estimate the total trip cost—including food, taxis, entertainment, etc.—and to include those charges in the pre-trip approval process. The expectation is that travelers will remain within that estimated cost, and tolerance for overspending is minimal. Booking and expense tools come into play for managers approving expenses. Tight integration of tools would allow the manager to review the approved estimated trip cost and the actual expense report side by side when the report is submitted.
This kind of review and approval process is now available through Concur with Travel Request. But preventing travel and entertainment expense fraud isn’t the only reason to take a look at how Travel Request can help your business. It’s designed to help businesses manage travel more effectively by helping employees, managers and approvers better organize travel before the trip starts. Not only does this help keep trip costs within pre-approved limits, but it can eliminate unnecessary travel, and ensures managers are fully informed and responsible for the business travel undertaken by their employees.
How does Travel Request work?
Travel Request provides the flexibility for employees to simply enter the dates, purpose and cost of a trip; work with a travel agent; or book their desired trip directly in Concur Travel. After the information is entered or itinerary confirmed online, the travel arrangements are saved and forwarded for approval. Once necessary approvals are complete, the booking is released for ticketing or the travel agent is notified to finalize the trip. Simple as that!
You can search for the trip segments in Concur Travel:
Selected travel segments are automatically added to the Travel Request. Car rentals, meals, hotel rooms, rail, and other expenses can also be added. After reviewing the itinerary, the travel request is then sent on for approval.
The status can be easily monitored by the employee and once the manager approves it, the trip gets sent on to the ticketing queue. And at the back-end, expenses can be compared to the requested amounts, providing comparisons of requested, booked, and actual travel expenses, providing the full benefit described by expert Elizabeth West.
Travel Request provides the highest level of travel policy compliance and spending control, while streamlining trip planning and expense reporting for employees and managers. Making business travel easier for everyone.
To begin using Travel Request or to find out more, contact your account or sales representative.