Guide

9 Cost-Cutting Travel & Spend Management Tips for Hybrid Companies

The tools to help travel and finance managers reach their cost-cutting goals.

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The battle between remote and in-office work is over; and for now, hybrid has won. Keeping pace with this new reality likely requires businesses to adjust their T&E programs — including everything from policies to processes.

Doing that doesn’t have to result in cost increases; in fact, companies can employ strategies and integrate tools that can not only adapt to these changes but also result in hard and soft savings. This guide — full of cost-cutting strategies and tips for travel and finance managers — can help. Here’s a look at what’s inside.

See all the tips in this guide: 9 Cost-Cutting Travel and Spend Tips for Hybrid Companies.

Cost-Cutting Strategies for Travel Managers

The hybrid era has put some traditional travel patterns on a new trajectory. Fewer solo road warriors are globetrotting, and there’s been an increase in group travel — reflecting the need for remote or semi-remote teams to gather in person more frequently, whether for an offsite or conference. The result, according to Navan data, has been new types of travelers engaging in new types of travel.

It’s an important point for travel managers to keep in mind as they seek to drive compliance and increase adoption rates — two powerful ways to keep costs down. After all, when employees book on a company’s travel platform, it helps businesses take advantage of corporate negotiated rates, resulting in hard savings. On-platform bookings also help managers track where employees are, leading to lower risk and an increase in soft savings.

Increasing compliance can help, but that’s proving to be particularly challenging right now. According to the latest survey and report from Skift, travel managers are seeing a downward trend in compliance.

Another opportunity for cost savings can come with today’s increased level of group travel. To manage it, many companies use third-party or offline tools, which rachets up the complexity of an already complex process. But a powerful group travel tool that’s integrated into a T&E solution is a smart cost-cutting strategy, as it takes a lot of the busywork off admins’ plates so they can focus on more productive tasks.

See all the tips in this guide: 9 Cost-Cutting Travel and Spend Tips for Hybrid Companies.

Hard and Soft Savings Opportunities for Finance Managers

The hybrid era has also created new patterns for how companies spend money. New types of expenses are coming from different groups of employees, and finance teams can get bogged down in expense processing — and incur higher costs as a result.

After all, the cost of processing a single traditional expense report is $58 — a task that takes 20 minutes. However, an expense management system with automated reconciliation greatly diminishes those numbers, reducing that $58 to just $7. Additionally, all purchases go straight to the finance team, reducing reconciliation to seconds; this real-time visibility into company spend can bring about both hard and soft savings.

Hybrid work can also lead to an increase in fraud, which may happen with a distributed workforce that’s engaging in new spending patterns. Reducing fraud, of course, reduces a company’s risk, which means both hard and soft savings. But it’s important to remember that fraud isn’t necessarily intentional. It may simply stem from employees not understanding the company’s policies, which can be more common with a distributed workforce. Ensuring that employees understand the policies is one way to help reduce fraud.

Here, too, modern T&E solutions like Navan can help. Navan offers real-time visibility into spend, making anomalies immediately apparent. It also gives finance teams more bandwidth to track questionable purchases and communicate policy — important steps in any company’s cost-cutting strategies.

See all of the tips in this guide: 9 Cost-Cutting Travel and Spend Tips for Hybrid Companies.

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