Blurring the boundaries between business and entertainment

I was naive to call me if I wanted to, but I wondered why the woman who booked my hotel for a corporate trip looked at me strangely when she insisted on a place in a sinister industrial city instead of a cosmetic site half an hour's drive away.

I think I was naive; why did you choose to stay in a boring hotel in need of a thorough renovation of the place that reaches the street? Kind hearted knows; apart from the fact that I chose a hotel close to the next morning meeting.

But what was the alternative option meant for my travel expenses? The answer is clear; the bill was bigger. While this may not seem like a big deal, in the grand scheme of things, the slight increase, along with the small increase for everyone else, will amount to a lot of money – and that all comes at the end.

Today, travel is easier and on a larger scale. It's easy to spot a few days in New York on a business trip to Philly. Because of this, the potential for excess spending is growing proportionally.

Companies must resort to travel and expenses management programs but must embrace them in all their aspects. The ability of smartphone apps to record expense data of all kinds is well known, but the real benefits come before thinking about a business trip.

Here are just a few:

1. Expense Policy: A good travel and expense management program will allow a simple and easy to understand expense policy, so that everyone knows what is acceptable and what is not.

2. Card Integration: An approved credit or debit card – perhaps one company – can be integrated into the appropriate software package. Use it to book flights and accommodation, and there is no possibility to mix corporate and private funds

3. Simple operation: People are put off by complicated technology. Through a good travel and expense management program, all the hard work has been done by application developers, so accounts and deposit are done in the background, leaving the individual free to record spending quickly and easily

4. Approve to go: Claim, approval, and payment can be done remotely, allowing more time to continue with the main business task – doing business.

5. Simplify the process: Convergence of claims, approval and payment makes travel and expense claiming more efficient by eliminating unnecessary and costly steps included in outdated processes, which also provide an opportunity for additional costs in underfunded financial departments, where there are greater opportunities for expenditure errors. .

The theme that goes through all this is control. Monitoring expenditure in travel and expenditure management. In order to 'control', read 'Spend less' – because that's how the company succeeds by increasing revenue. Earning money is difficult. Once this effort is spent, they are really good companies that make sure none of them slip without providing the best value possible.

Although business expenses may seem related to total business costs, he paused to consider this: in America alone, business travel spending reaches hundreds of billions a year – up to 10% of company costs. Isn't it worth a bit more control, and now this technology is there to help?