For decades, company travel policy was a paper-based maze of demands and delays. Employees had to hold onto receipts. Employers had to collect, record and store them. No one was well served. Today’s technology addresses the pain points of users and adds efficiency and visibility for organizations, which results in cost savings. To realize those savings, an organization has to build mobility into its company travel policy.

When building mobility into policy, organizations have to consider adoption. Without adoption there is no efficiency or visibility. Without those, there are no savings. Essential to adoption is ease of use. Employees expect the same simplicity from their work applications as the ones they use to play games, write notes and read news. Get the user experience right and the benefits flow.

What should employers build into a company travel policy with respect to mobility?

Convenience. Employees weigh their desire for reimbursement against the effort required to get it.

Spending awareness. Employees who update their spending through an app are more likely to be aware of it than those who jam paper receipts in a wallet or briefcase.

Compliance. Mobile apps can help better connect employees to corporate policies and company-approved vendors when they arrange airline flights, ground transportation and lodging.

Forbes contributor Sarwant Singh has noted that, “In an ideal world, we would all like to fly business class and stay in the Four Seasons on our business travel, but not many companies allow it; these platforms are reducing such rogue spend and allow for rejection of the trip or justification from employees where they break such policy.”

Technology news site TechTarget has said that, “Companies cut costs by about 18% when they switch from manual expense tracking to mobile management.” And “with a streamlined, digital expense management process, companies have improved visibility into how employees travel. With a better handle on hotel expenses, for instance, a company can negotiate better rates.”

TechTarget notes that “having an app readily available on their mobile phones more often than not makes employees aware of their obligation to record meal and hotel expenses. In fact, they enjoy hitting the ‘Submit Report’ button on the app when they’ve ended a trip and are seated on the plane, ready to take off and return home.”

Convenience for employees, savings for organizations

SureMileage and SureExpense go on the road with SureMobile. With it companies can manage all of their T&E needs and take the guesswork out of mileage tracking. The app is available for Apple and Android devices; and it is IE, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox supported. So, employees can upload receipts from mobile devices and plan, submit, and update trips from anywhere.

Employees can view, edit, submit, delete, and resubmit trips and expenses. Mobile submission means faster processing and reimbursement. That improved efficiency can save more than $1,000 a year per mobile employee.

Mobile expense management has benefits for employees and organizations. To make them reality, the first step is to make them policy.