Travel policy compliance 'not the reality'

Businesses with travel policy compliance rates over 80% can achieve lower indirect costs of 23% per traveller, a report says.

However, the report, based on interviews with 26 executives, said 95% of their firms allowed travellers to spend outside their programme. And eight in 10 don’t believe they possess the relevant information needed to optimise savings.

One unnamed participant said: “There is no doubt that we can maximise T&E savings if everybody complied with policy. This is not the reality however.”

The report identified the main drivers of non-compliance as “a lack of pre-approval (when required), and a disregard for flight requirements and accommodation guidelines”.

The ‘Managing Every Mile: How to deliver greater return on investment from Travel & Expense’ report, written by Dr Alexander Grous of the London School of Economics, interviewed boardroom executives of major international businesses.  

Seven out of 10 companies said they placed a greater focus on the duty of care to the traveller compared to three years before. Despite this, participants estimated that around 80-85% of travellers change travel plans on-trip through out-of-programme bookings.

Two third of companies offer corporate cards to employees but just 10-15% of travellers take up this option and instead buy outside the managed-buying channel. The report said that by not enforcing preferred channels, businesses are “forfeiting” discounts available to the organisation.

“We get the best TMC in, cut the best travel deals, invest in systems and policies and they still don’t use it,” said an anonymous participant.  

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