Recently, in partnership with CFO.com, we hosted a webinar to explore key considerations for organisations who are reviewing their travel and expense management . During the live event we polled attendees on the state of their organisation’s current T&E process and found that only 12% of respondents were completely satisfied with the efficiency of their process and 59% indicated the main priority for improving the management of their T&E process was to reduce costs or to enhance visibility and control. However, not all T&E solutions are created equal and traditional processes can be quite clunky. In order to get the maximum value out of a T&E solution, consider these five questions.
1. How important is a true end-to-end solution? From a business strategy perspective, selecting a provider that offers an end-to-end solution is key. In fact, research published by the Aberdeen Group shows that companies that manage travel and expense on a single platform regularly outperform competitors and have better visibility into spend, greater ability to report on taxable vs. non-taxable and are more easily able to maintain an automated link between travel booking, expense and back office systems. Not utilizing a truly unified solution ultimately leads to a disconnected process.
2. How important is the user experience? A great user experience is the most important thing to look for in a T&E solution because the adoption of the tool by employees is critical to determining success. And the key to driving adoption is providing users with an easy, fast, seamless experience that is consistent with what they expect and see in their personal online consumer lives.
3. Are there variations in pricing models that could impact more than my bottom line? Pricing variation is an important area of focus, but rarely discussed. Pricing models that encourage a policy of one claim per month often create a month-end bottleneck for finance and reduce visibility into cash flow. The best pricing model is one that encourages users to submit reports throughout the month. The increased frequency of submission can lead to greater efficiency and enhanced visibility into cash flow.
4. How will I know if my program is a success? High adoption and hitting KPIs will determine program success. In order to recognise success, you need to set and track KPIs early, from the implementation stage through adoption and evolution. Consider your solution provider a partner in this area and work closely with the them to establish KPIs that are relevant to your organisation’s goals.
5. What type of implementation and support should I expect from my T&E solution provider? Because T&E programmes are cross-functional, especially during the implementation stage of the program, you want to look for a provider that is transparent and offers a consultative approach to implementation in order to make experience-based recommendations to meet your organisation’s objectives. Additionally, in order to get the maximum value from your chosen provider, consider how aligned the handoff is between implementation and support, whether or not they offer phone-based support and if their teams are incentivised based on SLAs.
For additional insight into selecting an end-to-end, unified T&E solution, watch the “Top Five Things Finance Leaders Need to Know About Best-in-Class T&E” webinar now!