Try this understatement on for size: business processes are really, really tricky to get right. You do a lot of fidgeting with forms and workflow to try to make it perfect, but someone always finds a way around the system.
This is especially true for business travel management. Someone books a non-refundable ticket across the country before the finance team has a chance to run a budget check and all of a sudden you’ve got a mini-war on your hands.
The secret to beating the chaos in travel approvals is process automation. Here’s why automation the perfect modern solution to your workflow woes.
3 Reasons Why Businesses Need Travel Approvals
1. Happier Employees
When someone needs to travel, it can be an exciting and nervous time. You want that employee to be fully informed of what’s being provided for them and to know that the whole company is cheering him/her on. With a quick, automated system, team members are more confident and happier about the process.
2. Compliance With Travel Policies
Companies make travel policies to make travel economical, fair, pleasant, and straightforward for employees. However, without a streamlined travel approval workflow, some employees may be subject to the policies and others find their way around them. An automated travel approval process ensures that every last approval request is executed to perfection.
3. Financial Transparency and Clarity
Whenever business travel is involved, there are a lot of large and small expenses surrounding it. A comprehensive travel expense system makes sure that everyone knows what is going to be reimbursed and when the company card can be used. Details about the approval make sure everyone is on the same page. Complete and tracked travel approvals also provide a great tool for auditing.
Understanding the benefits of a travel management tool
Automated travel approvals are undeniably more of a necessity than a luxury, especially as we approach 2020, and automation has entered the picture.
Here’s a look at some of the top benefits of automated travel approvals.
1. Track expense requests and approvals
Staying on top of every business trip-related request and approval helps you understand pitfalls, obstacles, bottlenecks, redundancies, and common hidden costs in the expense management process. Automation through a solution like Kissflow lets you generate custom reports that drive actionable insights.
2. Enable automation
Automation is rapidly growing into an integral part of the modern workplace, and for good reason. With automation, you can have instantaneous access to every request and approval, generate customized and auto-populated reports, and even make changes to the travel approval process itself on the fly.
3. Avoid paperwork and manual errors
Business users shouldn’t have to rely on complicated paperwork or bulky email threads to keep track of expense approvals. You can send notifications to stakeholders and with an automated app ‘manning’ approvals, you reduce the chances of double entries, mysterious paper trails with no visible ends, and email threads that make you think of hell as you comb through them for an attached receipt.
How travel approvals work in a business
When employees need to travel for work, they enter details into a travel request form. From the moment they submit the travel request to the second they get in the taxi for the airport, four crucial tasks need to be covered.
1. Travel request
The travel request is submitted by the traveling employee. This covers details like the reason for the trip, the intended logistical details at that point (which may change during or after approval), and an estimated budget for the trip.
2. Travel approval
It gets approved by the employee’s immediate supervisor and a representative from the finance team. Approvers vary from company to company–it might be the CEO of a small company, or multiple accountants and team leads at a bigger enterprise.
3. Travel policy compliance
In policy compliance, an approver checks the request against company guidelines and policies regarding the matter. This might involve confirming the reason for the travel and also if the travel falls within the budget guidelines for the financial period.
Travel logistics are then planned. This is a complicated task, as someone needs to take care of everything from tickets, accommodation, car rentals, advancements, and even more complicated things like issuing corporate credit cards.
How can Kissflow Finance & Ops Cloud help?
If you’re looking to take control over travel requests, then look no further. Take Kissflow Finance & Ops Cloud for a test drive and see how fast your approvals get. It’s a finance process automation tool that helps you streamline key finance processes like travel requests and expense approvals. Sign up for free demo.