Undoubtedly, 2020 was a very special year also for business trips and missions, with business representatives who often found themselves in serious difficulty in planning and implementing travel, especially abroad. Regardless of the particularity of the current year, however, there is a general aspect that should be emphasized and to which the necessary attention is almost never paid: employee travel is an important item of expenditure also for SMBs, and not only for larger companies. Data in hand, without a shadow of a doubt business travel represents a key component also for small businesses, especially since, according to indexes such as the Amex GBT barometer, SMBs have increased the number of business trips in recent years. The basic message, moreover, is simple and explicit: to compete with the competition, which is often represented by larger companies, it is necessary to travel frequently, in Italy as well as abroad. The problem, however, is that travel costs are expensive and, consequently, we cannot afford inefficient travel expense report management. It is therefore essential, even for small businesses, to identify techniques and tools to make the entire travel process as efficient as possible.

How to reduce the costs of business trips and missions

Plan your trips in time: one of the main methods to reduce business travel expenses is certainly to plan each trip well in advance. Booking flights, hotels and rental cars should be done months in advance so you can take advantage of the best rates;

Opt for season tickets: business representatives who travel frequently should undoubtedly be able to take advantage of convenient season tickets with airlines or railways, so as to guarantee significant discounts;

Greater flexibility: to reduce travel costs, it is essential to introduce more flexibility when planning and booking. For example, it is possible to shift the departure or arrival times to take advantage of better rates, choose slightly more decentralized hotels to cut costs and so on.

Speed up and simplify expense report management: processing expenses incurred is an activity that requires a lot of time, for the administration as well as for the employee who has taken the trip. Added to this is the fact that the manual expense report management often gives rise to errors as well as worries, both by the traveler who has to anticipate travel expenses, and by the company. For this reason, to reduce costs, errors and discontent, it is good to adopt software solutions specifically designed to manage expense reports.

 How to speed up and simplify expense report management

In order to help companies optimize the management of their employees’ expense reports, the latest generation solutions have been developed that significantly reduce the risk of errors and the relative waste of time.

Optical character recognition systems that allow you to take simple photos of receipts, voice recognition tools to dictate expense reports directly to a virtual assistant who sends them to the system, software that automatically transforms the charges on a given card into expense items … All this seems almost science fiction, in reality it is only an innovative way of managing a business aspect that must be analyzed and modernized if you want to remain competitive on the market in the long term.