Why Digital Travel Receipts Are Everyone's BFF

Why Digital Travel Receipts Are Everyone's BFF

Corporate travel is hard enough without needing to worry about paper receipts 

One of the most annoying aspects of corporate travel management is dealing with receipts. Without collecting receipts, travelers have no proof of expenses to be reimbursed. And your finance team has no way to monitor the travel budget or accurately forecast future travel needs and costs. But all those individual receipts can bring even the toughest travel professional to tears.

Little pieces of paper, many of them barely readable (or not at all). Digital receipts from online bookings. Statements from credit cards used for bookings or other purchases. Mysterious gaps where receipts somehow went missing or were never obtained in the first place. It’s a full-time job just to sort this stuff, scan it (or enter the information by hand), and assemble it into some kind of order.

That’s not corporate travel management, it’s manual labor. It’s a waste of time that results in frustration, lack of visibility, and unreliable travel spending data.

Welcome to the Digital Age

QuickBooks recommends that businesses keep digital receipts for everything. Paper receipts are inefficient, time-consuming, and invite mistakes thanks to human error. Business travel is complex enough without adding the problems associated with paper receipts.

Missing Receipts Are Worse than Annoying

If one employee loses his receipt for a cab ride or lunch, what’s the big deal? He won’t get reimbursed, so maybe he’ll remember that next time and be more attentive about collecting and submitting receipts. On a company-wide basis, though, the problem is exponentially greater. Multiply one traveler’s missing receipts by the number of traveling employees in your organization by the number of trips taken each year, and now your entire travel spend is out of whack. You know it’s wrong, but how wrong is it? Where, exactly, is spending not as expected?

Considering the fact that travel is likely one of your biggest business expenditures, this won’t do. You can’t grow your business if you can’t manage your money and control your spending.

Oh, sometimes, an employee will eventually locate a missing receipt and turn it in. It helps to have that additional piece of information, however tardy. But now you have to go back and re-compute travel expense for the month in question, reallocate reimbursement expenses, etc. Your data is more accurate, but you’ve wasted more time.

Time Is a Valuable Commodity

We all know that. So how much time does it take to gather the receipts and other paperwork needed to submit one travel reimbursement request? Multiply that by your total number of business trips each year, and you’ll uncover another financial reason to hate the way you’re doing things now.

The Solution is Simple

With a corporate travel management platform in place, capturing and managing travel receipts is a piece of cake. Deliciously simple for travelers, tantalizingly efficient for travel managers, with plenty of succulent data for budget-minders.

Make it part of your corporate travel policy that employees must submit receipts digitally. That’s a rule everyone wants to follow because it saves time and hassle and ensures proper, faster reimbursement. As bookings are confirmed, receipts are automatically captured, so there’s nothing to forget or misplace. If they receive a paper receipt, they can snap a shot of it with their phone to digitize it. Digital receipts also eliminate the possibility of duplicate submissions.

With a single platform everyone can use, you can say goodbye to paper shuffling, mistakes, and missing receipts. Travelers and administrators can be more productive. Data is complete and timely. It’s easy to review and approve reimbursements. You can make better-informed business decisions.

Besides, just think of all the storage space you’ll save. No more paper receipts means no more file cabinets stuffed with folders filled with receipts. Digital storage is more efficient physically and functionally. It’s a sustainable business practice. You’re saving time and effort and the environment, too.

Meet Your New BFF

As experienced business travelers and corporate honchos ourselves, we get it. That’s why we created Lola. If you haven’t met her yet, we’d love to introduce you. She’ll quickly show you just how simple it is to digitally transform your corporate travel management.

Ready to see how Lola can help you automate expensing and streamline your entire corporate travel program? Schedule a demo to see it in action today.


About the Author: Mike Baker
Mike was Director of Marketing for Lola.com and a former journalist, farmer and teacher.