T&E: Control vs. Empowerment

Managing the travel and entertainment aspects of the budget can be a tricky balance between controlling expenditures to keep costs down and empowering employees to make smart decisions. Watching the bottom line at the expense of your employees is never a successful plan, yet it is possible to carefully curtail spending without lowering morale.

  • Establishing a per diem is a great way to let employees decide where their travel money goes without negatively impacting finances.
  • Having one company way to book travel, whether it’s a particular travel agent or online site, will make it easier to book and pay for travel in a consistent way while still giving employees options.
  • Travel is taking employees away from family and friends, so perks like frequent flier miles will be well received, and won’t adversely affect your budget.

According to an article in Microsoft’s small business resource center, “A 2001 Gartner Group study found that just a 5% reduction in operating costs in the expense-management process has the same effect as a 30% increase in sales.”

Cutting costs can have a profound effect, as long as you take care to create a balance between greater controls that will decrease spending and employee empowerment to make business travel less of a chore.

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