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New Findings from Corporate Travel Survey Reveal Companies Falling Victim to Travel Spend Black Hole

Lola.com’s latest corporate travel study shows finance teams are unprepared to track and control travel spend, leading to budget overruns and struggling forecasts

BOSTON – Dec. 2, 2019 Lola.com, the Agile Travel Management™ company that provides a super simple way to book, manage, report, and save on business travel, highlighted new research by Kickstand Communications that showed how unprepared and ill equipped finance teams are in tracking, controlling, and reporting on travel spend. According to the study conducted by Lola.com, “The Corporate Travel Reporting Black Hole,” many of the 700 finance leaders surveyed are consistently going over budget and struggling to accurately forecast travel spend.

“Too many companies are falling victim to the travel spend reporting black hole,” said Mike Volpe, CEO of Lola.com. “This new survey data helps us to understand why finance teams are struggling to control and report on corporate travel spend. What’s interesting is that while seventy-two percent of respondents said their company is more data-driven in areas other than travel, and more than half say they rely on their gut to manage travel expenses, the average company spends more on T&E than almost anything, besides salary and benefits.”

The survey revealed that companies are losing big money on corporate travel for multiple reasons, including changing travel plans and its associated fees, confusion about what is and what is not included in policy, and siloed tools preventing finance teams from tracking expenditures in real time.

Changing a flight amounts to an average of $323 in additional costs, and a whopping 67% of respondents say they outright lose money when a trip is cancelled, averaging a staggering $889 per cancellation. Fifty-six percent of respondents said that finance teams are not notified when employees change travel plans, so teams are not appropriately tracking these changes to get reimbursements or credits.

Another fee-related pain point that stood out is booking fees. Thirty-eight percent of respondents pay a fee every time they book travel, and many pay fees to a travel agency for re-booking and support calls. Fees and charges are significant components of T&E, yet they are often overlooked in the budget and make it difficult to keep bookings within policy.

With this much uncertainty, forecasting travel spend is challenging. Seventy-two percent of respondents said they wished they were more confident in their travel spend forecasts. The most common reason for this was lack of real-time visibility with 42% of respondents saying they don’t have the effective tools for travel spend forecasting.

Respondents said that having a tool that tracks and shares all travel bookings as they happen would have a huge impact on improving accuracy of forecasts, but 74% also said they needed better integration of tools for booking and expensing. For example, allowing traveling employees to submit expenses immediately upon purchase would help finance teams stay on top of travel spend in real time.

The survey aims to better understand where finance teams’ gaps are and what they feel they need to help their companies better track, manage, and report on corporate travel spend. The report analyzes responses regarding enforcing travel policies, accounting for unexpected costs and fees, and the tools they need to better track and control travel spend.

For the full report, visit: https://www.lola.com/ebook/the-corporate-travel-reporting-black-hole

About Lola.com

Lola.com makes Agile Travel Management real by providing a super simple way to manage, book and report on business travel, saving employers and travelers time and money. Happy employee travel experiences within a policy can be set up in five minutes. Lola.com uses machine learning and 24/7 support to help travelers easily book trips, while empowering managers to create policies, view budgets and expenditures, and monitor their globetrotting team efficiently. Based in Boston, the company was founded in 2015 by Paul English, co-founder of the travel booking site KAYAK, and is led by CEO Mike Volpe, previously CMO at HubSpot. For more information, visit https://www.lola.com/ and connect on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Contact:
Tracy Wemett
BroadPR
+1-617-868-5031
tracy@broadpr.com

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Kathleen Burns
better corporate travel starts here.