5 Key Data Points for CFOs to Better Analyze Corporate Travel Expenses03/17/2017, 7:14 am
What would it look like if you had better visibility into your corporate travel expenses? What if you had the technology that integrated and streamlined your travel bookings, authorizations and payments? What if your business travelers were happy to follow the corporate travel policy?
For many companies with unmanaged travel programs, that scenario is far from reality. Rather, your organization may suffer from rogue travelers and inaccurate or incomplete expense reports that require you to piece together the larger financial picture. That doesn’t have to be the case.
As a CFO, you may be actively looking for ways to control rising travel expenses or searching for a better way to manage the corporate travel program. Luckily, there are processes you can implement with the help of your team that will help control ballooning costs while keeping your travelers happy and productive.
5 T&E Data Points to Analyze:
- Total Volume
How many hotel rooms do your travelers need in a year? Airline seats? Car rentals? How many of these are needed per department or cost center? This information gives you leverage as you seek to negotiate or re-negotiate preferred supplier agreements. TMCs also have well-established relationships with suppliers and you can supplement your own preferred supplier program with your TMC’s.
- Average Transaction Cost
There are reasonable benchmarks for what you can expect when it comes to supplier pricing. You can obtain this data from Topaz International and other 3rd parties as well as from some TMCs.
- Lost Opportunity Compared to Lowest Fare Available
There’s a misconception that consumer-facing tools give you the lowest price fare. That’s not always true. In fact, that type of software is built with predictive technology that shows fares based on past behavior. What that means is, if your top business travelers typically book their own tickets without following any type of travel policy or preferred supplier arrangement, they’re probably paying 10-20% more per ticket. TMCs have access to unbiased software tools,offering the lowest priced fares that are not available via public websites.
- Travel purchase by source
What was purchased through your TMC? And what was purchased from alternate sources (public sites, supplier sites, etc.)? Without a TMC to capture your travel data, you will be missing out on a wealth information. An experienced industry professional can guide you through strategic planning and will be responsible for negotiating with suppliers to get the best price for your organization.
- Policy compliance
Does your travel policy outline your company’s expectations about fare thresholds or per diem rates? How well do your travelers adhere to the existing policy? If your employees use personal credit cards to book travel, for example, that can make it more difficult for you to reconcile and forecast expenses.It can be difficult to accurately capture this data if you don’t have procedures in place that work for your team and your business. A TMC can help you create policy refinements and streamline processes, using available technology and supplier relationships to encourage overall program compliance.
- Total Volume
When you improve your travel expense management, you’ll be able to do more than simply make better budget forecasts; you will improve your team’s productivity with straightforward and easy-to-use processes.