When it comes to travel reimbursement, finance leaders and company employees have similar goals: simpler and faster processes that improve efficiency and visibility. Digital technology has the power to accomplish all these things. But as a recent study commissioned by industry leader Concur demonstrates, there are challenges that have to be overcome before those benefits can be achieved.

Concur worked with Forrester Consulting to “explore the disruption occurring in the travel and expenses (T&E) space and evaluate how financial leaders are responding to this change, from both a financial and strategic business perspective.” According to the study report, Forrester developed a hypothesis that today’s financial leaders need to embrace T&E solutions strategically to help drive growth and innovation in the business while also managing the typical finance responsibilities related to cost management, controls, and compliance.

An online survey and in-depth interviews with financial leaders led to three key findings:

Expense tools must match tech employees’ use in personal lives.

Employees are embracing new digital capabilities in their personal lives to make purchases, and they now expect their employers to support those same capabilities as they relate to employee-generated spending.

T&E is a top priority but least addressed.

Forrester noted that “Keeping track of employee-generated expenses is a big task for any financial leader, yet as these leaders become more embedded strategically in other aspects of their businesses, their availability to devote time directly to expense management has been reduced.” This has spurred the desire to find more efficient tools to simplify the T&E process.

Empowering employees is key to effective travel and expense reimbursement.

Companies are looking to implement new T&E tools that are both user-friendly and easy to implement and integrate with existing systems. They are looking for solutions that simplify the T&E process for employees by reducing the number of manual steps and giving employees new tools (such as mobile connectivity to T&E solutions) to help monitor their spending more efficiently.<

Recommendations for improving travel reimbursement

The study report concluded by highlighting the fact that “Modernizing T&E processes through cloud-based technology solutions helps financial leaders achieve greater leverage and control over corporate travel expenditures, while enabling their employees with a better experience to manage travel needs and report expenses quickly and efficiently.” Four recommendations emerge from this:

  • Use cloud-based travel reimbursement to achieve savings and supplier leverage
  • Demand more from the data
  • Improve process efficiencies and lower reporting cycle times
  • Involve employees in the management of expenses.

SureMileage by Company Mileage can help organizations achieve all of these goals. With its internet-based and customizable software, SureMileage simplifies the processing of travel reimbursement. Instead of verifying the miles that were driven, it calculates the expenses to be reimbursed. This new approach greatly improves mileage verification, resulting in significant savings. Company Mileage solutions work seamlessly with all major accounting and payroll systems.

With the latest technology and the right tools, travel reimbursement can be more than a chore. It can be an opportunity to learn and improve.