Rebuilding a Best In Class Travel and Expense Policy

Rebuilding a Best in Class Travel and Expense Policy



  • Establishing a Committee:
    Whether reviewing or rebuilding your policies, create a committee to include all relevant stakeholders. This includes not only divisional stakeholders such as Human Resources, Risk Management, Finance/Accounting and Legal, but also to have a solid representation of travelers from differing demographics and frequency of travel.
  • Traveler Wellness:
    Understand what your travelers’ view as impacting their health and stress/anxiety while traveling on behalf of the business. Survey your travelers to gauge what causes their discomfort and what healthy options they prefer. Once the trending information is available, calculate the cost of incorporating change into the policy. This can take many different forms and approaches, all of which should be quantifiable and measurable for both impact of cost and importance to the traveler.


  • Ease of expense reporting:
    The number one challenge expressed by business travelers is the complexity to file an expense report. Technology is advancing and new options for automating invoice and receipt management are becoming more readily available and standard in many new releases. Set up time with your expense partner to review recent enhancements as well as what is on the roadmap for upcoming new features that will have a direct impact on your travelers’ satisfaction.
  • Clarity:
    It is important to avoid interpretation. Be specific with what is approved for expense reimbursement and especially what is not. It is recommended to include a list of the most common reimbursement requests that are not allowable to avoid future costs of management. Expense management personnel are being forced to reject submissions and needing to provide further explanation to the traveler which causes inefficiencies in the approval processes and timely payment of reimbursement.


Once the policies have been updated, modernized and approved by the committee, take the time to communicate why the changes have been made and
how you incorporated the input from the travelers’ feedback. People love to feel heard and to know that you have their interest at the forefront and are
delivering directly based upon their input. This sense of collaboration and consideration creates buying behaviors that are more policy compliant across all
divisions of the company.

Below are a couple of tips to further socialize the changes and create an easy process towards compliance and adoption:

  • Add a one page summary document on your company intranet. Make sure there are links to the broader policy to ensure clarity and process assurance.
  • Include an FAQ as to why certain aspects have been determined – let the travelers know and understand that it is their safety and wellness that is
    paramount and the basis for certain changes.
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