Here we will go over six ways to maximize your travel management reporting.
Travel management reporting is the delicate process of compiling business travel results and achievements and then systematically presenting them in a clear and informational way.
A travel report includes information and documentation that outlines the overall success and final outcome of a recently completed trip. If the report is not presented correctly and to the fullest, there may be a misconception regarding the success of the said trip. Therefore, future trips may be placed on hold to avoid financial loss.
Additionally, properly reported post-travel data is essential because this information shows a company what alterations can be made in their travel policy and trip details to achieve a better outcome in the future.
Let’s jump right in.
1) Make a Guide
Travel reports include a large amount of information that can be difficult to keep track of and easy to leave out accidentally.
A great way to avoid leaving out critical information is by creating a blank template-like guide highlighting essential topics and data points that must be on the final report.
As you collect and configure the travel data, you fill in the blanks and consolidate the information later.
2) Stay Organized
Travel report managers have tons of information to gather and review; any time a person is presented with a plethora of documentation, the organization becomes essential.
Report information will rapidly hit your inbox for a few days following the completion of a business trip. To keep up with this information, an organizational system should be put into place.
Your organization system could be anything from labeled folders on your PC to an excel spreadsheet. Once you are ready to analyze the saved material, you will be able to find and filter specific information quickly.
3) Use a Corporate Travel Policy
Corporate travel policies are great for streamlining travel reporting.
Since a travel policy sets rules regarding information such as expense limits and approved hotels and airlines, sorting through data becomes much easier when your team uses one.
Corporate travel policies also help employees stay within budget and avoid decisions that might jeopardize the trip’s success.
4) Keep Receipts
Having all traveling employees keep their receipts while away on a trip makes expense reporting more straightforward.
Any expenditure that will be reimbursed by the company would require a receipt of purchase in order to approve the covered costs. When multiple people are on a trip for multiple days, there will be an enormous amount of receipts to review.
Therefore, not only should the employees keep their receipts, but they should also upload digital copies and organize them wisely. To make receipt storing and access more manageable, consider having all employees use a receipt tracking mobile app that you have access to. Having all expenses uploaded to the same location allows for quick and uncomplicated evaluation.
5) Understand Corporate travel
One of the best things you can do to maximize your reporting is to understand what corporate travel entails.
When you’re not the one personally traveling for business, it can be hard to sort through and configure data in a way that makes sense, especially if you are new in your position.
If you are unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the business trip process, you might want to check out a full guide to corporate travel. Additionally, you can speak directly to your boss or employees who understand business travel more intimately.
6) Consolidate Your Data
Depending on the requirements of your report, you might need to consolidate the data to create an overall picture of how the business trip panned out.
When consolidating data, it is essential to provide dollar totals of the money spent in each category, such as lodging, airfare, and meals.
Your boss may also want a daily breakdown of expenses and information regarding where discounts were used.
It is vital to consolidate in a way that leaves the information clear and concise without overloading the reader.
An excellent report creation practice is presenting one page that provides an overview of expenses and key details, followed by multiple pages that go more into specifics. Handing over a report like so is highly appreciated by management.