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The Dynamic Duo: Why Travel and Spend Management are Inseparable

Profile image of post author Rob Ferry
Rob Ferry · February 2024

If you're a frequent business traveler, you understand the hassle of keeping track of receipts, filling out expense reports, and ensuring everything adheres to company policy. That's where spend management comes to the rescue, and its relationship with travel booking platforms is crucial. Let's dive into the world of business trips and why optimising the way we handle those expenses is a game-changer.

The Pain Points of Unmanaged Travel Expenses

  • Lost Receipts: We've all been there, the tiny hotel receipt that goes MIA somewhere between the conference and the plane.
  • Manual Data Entry: The mind-numbing task of transferring every expense into a spreadsheet or system.
  • Compliance Headaches: Unclear or shifting travel policies turn every trip into a guessing game of what's allowable.
  • Delayed Reimbursements: Waiting weeks (or months!) for reimbursement affects employee morale and cash flow.

Beyond the Basics: Benefits of Integrated Systems

Imagine this: You're planning a business trip, and instead of juggling multiple platforms and spreadsheets, you have one seamless platform that allows you to compare trip costs, choose preferred vendors, and stay within budget. No more wasting time switching between tabs or digging through emails for receipts. With integrated travel booking and expense management solutions, you have everything you need in one place, making trip planning a breeze. Plus, you get real-time visibility into your travel spend, helping you control costs as they happen. It's like having a personal travel assistant, guiding you towards smart decisions and ensuring a smooth journey.

Integrating a travel booking platform into spend management software significantly optimises the entire user experience. Users benefit from a centralised system where they can store and manage all travel expenditures in one place, from flight to hotel bookings. Policy automation ensures spending aligns with budgets without compromising on the comfort and necessities of business travellers. Managers will enjoy fast approval processes, leading to quicker employee reimbursements. This integration also benefits technology companies offering spend management solutions, as business travel (a $1.4 trillion industry and the second-highest company expense) can be captured and controlled effortlessly. Finally, the wealth of data-driven insights into travel spending aids in future budgeting and trend analysis.

Benefits Deep Dive: Finance Team Edition

The finance team is responsible for audits, budgeting, and financial reporting. With integrated travel booking and expense management solutions, their jobs become so much easier. Automated policy checks and detailed receipts in one place simplify audits and verify the legitimacy of travel expenses. Manual errors during data entry or calculations? Almost non-existent, thanks to automation. This frees up time for your finance team to focus on more strategic tasks. Accurate, real-time travel spend data enables them to create realistic budgets and optimize resource allocation across the company. They can generate detailed financial reports on travel expenses instantly, vs legacy TMC integrations with a fully integrated travel booking platform into their spend management solution they could go as far as for example having separate expense categories for flight or hotel bookings, and analyze them by category, department, or time period to gain valuable insights. Armed with comprehensive, consolidated travel spending data, your finance team has more negotiating power when dealing with vendors. And with advanced systems that flag suspicious expense patterns, they can proactively detect and prevent fraudulent activity. Tax compliance? Sorted. Expenses are reported and categorized correctly, streamlining tax deductions and ensuring adherence to ever-changing regulations.

The Takeaway

Travel and expense management should never be seen as separate entities. By integrating the two, businesses gain remarkable control, save time and money, and empower employees on the move. It's like having a perfectly packed suitcase for a hassle-free journey. So, if you want to streamline your travel booking capabilities with your spend management solution, look no further. With Duffel, you get a seamless integration, a low code API, and Duffel Links, making your travel and expense management journey smooth and efficient.

Get in touch with one of our Travel Booking Portal integration specialists!

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