Chrome River: Is your travel expense policy keeping up with the times?

We recently talked about the need for your expense management technology solution to keep up with the changing tides of business, as your organization grows and evolves. However, that’s not the only part of your overall expense management ecosystem that you need to ensure keeps pace with the times. Your organization’s travel and expense policy must also ensure that it stays updated, to support the requirements of both the employer and also those who need to submit expense reports.

For example, has your organization embraced (or even addressed) solutions as Uber/Lyft and Airbnb? While it may seem that the decision to adopt these solutions may be straightforward for travel managers, it can be somewhat more complex. What about negotiated rates that your organization may have with hotel chains – will they be adversely impacted by travelers staying in shared accommodation? There is also duty of care to consider – if your company does allow employees to stay in these types of lodging, what restrictions should you place on whether they are allowed to share with others?

According to a recent survey that we commissioned of corporate travel and finance professionals, shared economy services aren’t yet a firm fixture of corporate travel policies, even though few organizations specifically prohibit their use. While more than 50 percent of respondents say that Uber/Lyft use is specifically addressed within their travel and expense policy, less than 20 percent of respondents said the same for Airbnb-type lodging. No respondents said that their organization has a policy that prohibits ride-sharing, only three percent formally ban the use of share-lodging services, and 54 percent of respondents said that their organization has no restrictions in place regarding who they can share with.

The biggest reason behind moving toward these new services is the cost savings that the offer, cited by a third of respondents. Flexibility and ease of use were each cited as the top reason by 23% of respondents, with employee feedback and preference at 18%.

The latest innovation in urban transport, however, is still to gain meaningful acceptance among corporates. Only 11% of those surveyed said that their organization allows employees to use electric scooters while on business travel, with 43% saying they are not allowed, and a further 46% being unsure of their organization’s policy for scooter use.

Is it time that your travel expense got a refresh? Is your organization among the quarter that hasn’t updated its policy in the past two years? Download our expense policy template to make sure your organization follows the latest best practices for providing an employee-friendly experience, while maintaining effective cost-control processes.

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