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Responsible Travel Policy December 13, 2008

Posted by solutionsbconsultants in Business Improvement, Increase Profitability, Travel Policy.
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If you review or approve travel for your company, chances are you have seen it all. Many of our clients have had similar issues with wasteful trips and requests for reimbursement that are abusive. One would think that most employees who travel would have the good common sense not to bite the hand that feeds them. However, in all fairness, sometimes you just have to spell it out in black or white. That’s why a comprehensive travel policy is a must to set proper expectations for your traveling employees.

Here are some points that should be covered. 

1) Set up an approval process that requires a superior’s approval for any travel and a VP approval at $1000

2) All expenditures should conform to IRS requirements for documentation.

3) Where possible, the company should negotiate a blanket contract with airlines, hotel chains and rental car companies.

4) Meals should be limited to a specific dollar amount, disallow liquor and limit tip to 15% and any reimbursement should require the detailed receipt showing exactly what was purchased.

5) Require lowest fare adoption and 14 or 21 day advance notice of travel – exceptions should go to a Senior VP to dissuade poor planning.

6) Larger companies should use a dedicated person to make all travel arrangements or use a web-based system that allows for your policies to be programmed in to the system.

7) Hotel room nights should have a maximum $ per night limit depending on the market.

8) Rental cars should be disallowed unless it can be demonstrated that the cost plus hotel parking and gas would be less than airport shuttles and taxis.

9) Family members/friends should not be allowed to travel with the employee on business trips – this just encourages company paid vacations and distracts from the business purpose of the trip.

10) Phone on planes should never be used and hotel phones should not be used if the employee has a cell phone.

11) There should be a list of things that are not going to be reimbursed such as dry cleaning for stays less than 5 days, valet parking, personal and sundry items, etc.

For a comprehensive travel analysis, policy creation, approval systems or other expense policy needs, contact Steve at Solutions Business Consultants steve@costavoidance.org