Being able to approve travel spend before any costs are incurred can be a useful tool in controlling company spend. There are advantages and disadvantages to the process but where properly designed and applied a company can obtain useful insights, eliminate excesses and ensure thought and prudence have been applied to the booking.
By applying rules and intelligence based on your travel policies the process can be automated and initiated to suit your needs and provide a useful control for the business.
How Does Approval Work?
Having created a trip the conditions tested and are such that approval is required. On the final booking page having captured any relevant data, justifications if required and anything else needed for the booking or that the approver needs to know, the book button is replaced with “send for approval”
The approver can access all aspects of the trip from a link in the email. They can initiate a chat with the traveller and view other options as necessary. Finally they can approve or decline the booking. Progress and status are visible to all who need it. Upon approval the trip is booked and the traveller receives required documents or is advised if rejected with reasons and notes if appropriate.
Approval creates an extra step in the booking process, a step users must be familiar with and accepting of to avoid frustration and business prevention. It’s a step not encountered in familiar public booking tools and thought should be given to when and how it is applied. The purpose of approving travel for most businesses is to provide an additional filter to avoid excess spend or unnecessary travel. Maybe in days gone by it was a way to keep an eye on the budget, who was spending what and how. These days a modern reporting tool can do that for you.
Travel is time sensitive, pricing can be dynamic. No price is guaranteed until confirmed and issued. If approval is required nothing is booked until approved. In some instances seats/rooms etc can be held for a limited time. Approval must be actioned within that time limit. It can be hours, it can be by end of day or it can be several days. Either way approval must be actioned within the time limit. If it is not then items are cancelled and must be re-booked as well as an inconvenience price may change. If the item is instant purchase such as low cost flights or non refundable rooms then once approved an extra step is required to complete the booking. Approvers need to action requests promptly this includes outside office hours and contingencies made when out of office applies. Full advice and strategies will be discussed