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Employee travel expense data needs to visible
Thu, 3rd Sep 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Businesses should start increasing visibility into employee travel expense data, according to Concur, who says doing so will save them time and money.

Letting employees see how their booking choices match up to the company's policies and how they compare with fellow employees' choices encourages them to make more economic choices, explains Matt Goss, managing director of Concur ANZ.

“Businesses that share more information with travelling employees can encourage them to make more sustainable choices for the business,” he says.

Concur advises businesses consider three tips to ensure they benefit from sharing data:

1. Provide visibility

Sharing benchmark data on employee spend can lead travellers to ask questions like, “How does my trip compare to my colleagues'?”, “Why is my trip more expensive than the average?”, and “How can I reduce my expenditure?

Sharing this data encourages employees to save money on advance purchases and shows them how to stay within travel policy, Goss says.

“For some employees, seeing how others maximise value helps them make better choices without compromising the quality of their travel experience,” he explains. “Providing visibility into everyone's expenditure creates a knowledge base that everyone can use to reduce costs.

2. Incentivise

Goss says businesses must move beyond relying on ‘screen guilt', where they expect employees to choose cheaper flights and accommodation because of the range of choices online.

Instead, providing visibility of spend and incentivising economical choices positively reinforces the need to make economic travel choices. For example, businesses can use gamification tools to drive travel policy compliance.

“To gamify the process, businesses can rank individuals based on policy adherence goals,” Goss says. “From there, it's as easy as attaching a small incentive reward to encourage the most favourable habits.

“The cost of incentives can be a fraction of the savings made from better travel choices. It's a simple, scalable, and effective method of driving savings,” he says.

3. Commit to sharing

Information availability is growing exponentially, Goss says. Businesses that embrace the data sharing trend, and offer business travellers new ways to interact with the information, can significantly improve their travel and expense programme.

“Companies that fail to leverage the volume and quality of available information are missing out on opportunities to save substantial sums on business and travel expenses,” he says.

“It's a relatively simple process to create visibility and reinforce the right habits throughout the organisation. Companies that do so will see results, fast.