Streamlining Travel Allowance Forms is crucial for your business. Here’s why.
February 20th, 2019 • Travel Management
Corporate travel is a major industry in itself, as evidenced by the projected $1.6 trillion that will be spent in 2020. But within your organization, you’re probably more concerned about lost travel receipts and mismanaged corporate travel funds.
This is why we’ve put together this simple guide to travel allowance forms, and why it’s so important for businesses to streamline theirs.
What are Travel Allowance Forms?
These are documents that employees traveling on business use to apply for expense reimbursement before work trips. These forms include fields to describe the various expected expenses on the trip and serve as requests for the company to provide funds towards these expenses.
A key point to note is that travel allowance is an up-front series of regular payments, while travel reimbursement is a post-trip, one-time transaction.
Employee travel allowance forms can be printed paperwork, or paperless digital forms with auto-populated fields and cloud data storage features added. For instance, you can create forms in Kissflow that your employees can use to apply for their travel allowance.
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Let’s take a look at the features an ideal travel form should include.
The features of an ideal Travel Allowance Form
In an ideal world, travel request forms will do much more than simply log expected expenses and request funds. Let’s take a look at the features travel allowance forms should be providing.
- Ensure policy compliance with organizational spend guidelines and rules
- Make advance travel booking easy and feasible
- Make approval-based ‘travel allowance’ workflows possible
- Accommodate the approval hierarchy within your organization
- Maintain records of every last travel allowance request made
- Ensure that all allowance requests are handled appropriately and that none are ‘lost in the system’
Reading through this list, you’ll see how real-world travel forms (especially dated paperwork-based systems) fall far short of these standards.
The solution lies in automation.
Why you should automate corporate travel allowances
Forget the size of your business. Forget whether one person handles all travel allowance requests, or if you have a dedicated team working on this. Automation can serve businesses of all sizes, especially with respect to corporate travel allowance forms.
Changes on the fly
With automation, all your data is stored in one central cloud location that is accessible to everyone from the requester and the approver, to members of the finance team should they want to study it at a later date. Paper forms won’t let you do this–once you’ve handed in a request, the only way to modify the request and make a change to your itinerary is to go to the person in charge, get the form back, and modify it yourself.
Automated travel allowance forms can be flexible as well. You can tweak them to accommodate everything from the simplest travel plans to more complex beasts of requests with multi-week plans involving red-eye flights and multiple currencies. You can incorporate information like frequent flyer miles and known traveler numbers, which are only applicable to certain users.
What’s more, an automated approval-based workflow means that travel allowance changes drastically, for the better. Employees can hand in requests whenever they need to, and wherever they are. Approvers can do their part from anywhere and whenever they want to as well, with mobile/cloud-based software tools. The relevant team member will be notified by the system whenever required, with no manual emails and messages required.
Get travel allowance (really) going with Kissflow
A simple form-based workflow can do so much more, and you can easily create one using Kissflow’s simple visual approach. You don’t even need to know how to code.
What’s more, you don’t have to start from scratch, given how many templates there are built into this convenient tool. Don’t take our word for it–give it a try today, for free.