Travel & Expense Management: How To Get It Right With Jeeves

If you and your employees travel for business, you may be having problems with:

  • A lack of visibility to create a travel budget you can stick to and keep travel expenditures under control
  • Dealing with employee expense reports, approvals, and the entire reimbursement process
  • Tracking and accounting for company-wide travel expenses
  • Estimating how much to keep in the bank or have on hand to cover travel expenses made on business debit or prepaid cards
  • Expensive forex fees that increase your costs and decrease your profit margins

Jeeves can help you solve these travel expense management problems.

In this article, we’ll cover:

Note: To take charge of your travel-related expenditure, apply to Jeeves today.

Why managing travel expenses is challenging

When you don’t have the right systems in place, travel and expense management is challenging. Here’s why:

  • Lack of up-to-date data. Many companies don’t see employee-related travel expenses until the month-end. You only know at the last minute if you’ve successfully kept to your travel budget, which makes expense tracking and cost control difficult to achieve.
  • The hassle of handling receipts. Members of staff have to keep receipts with them until they can complete a reimbursement request at their travel end. You may wind up chasing after missing or wrongly submitted receipts or receive receipts so damaged they’re unreadable. Lost receipts can also compromise your company’s financial transaction data or lead to employee friction over a lost reimbursement.
  • Personal employee card use. Staff paying for travel expenditure from their credit cards makes you dependent on how creditworthy they are and how much credit limit is available. An employee’s personal credit card limit might not be enough to meet your company’s T&E costs.
  • Increased labour costs. Expense reports take a long time for employees to complete accurately – time they could put to better use in growing your business. You then must analyse the personal credit statements line by line and the associated paper receipts for employee reimbursements.
  • Poor cost control and unpredictable costs. One employee could be spending $100 to stay in a hotel and another $300. Unclear travel expense policies combined with a lack of transparent spending data, often lead to significant and persistent overspends.
  • Unconnected travel and accounting data. Many companies have different systems for accounting, travel expenses, general employee expenses, and so on. You may have to enter data multiple times onto different systems, which complicates producing comprehensive financial reports.
  • High FX fees on international travel expenses. Most payment card providers charge up to 3% on every foreign currency transaction. This adds to your business travel costs and reduces profitability.

Why current travel and expenses (T&E) solutions don’t work

There are five main travel expense management solutions companies use to manage their T&E. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but none will fully resolve your travel management problems. 

Let’s take a look at each one:

1. SaaS platforms 

Business travel expense management software is useful for analysing T&E spend data. 

However, to get data onto the platform, you either need to manually input information or sync it with other apps. You’ll also need to sync the platform with your accounting software to download the data and create reports.

2. Standard accounting software

Having one central accounting program is a great expense management process for running reports and financial transparency. 

But accounting software still requires manual processes like manual data entry, cost category classification, and downloading your travel expenses from multiple bank accounts and payment card accounts.

3. Employees’ personal credit cards

This expense management system is great if you need to defer payment for travel-related costs, but it can be weeks before your books are finally up to date. You have to enter each transaction and cost category manually and you can’t sync accounting software because the cards belong to staff members. 

Employee expense reimbursements are also time consuming, especially when you have to chase after missing receipts. Foreign currency exchange rates are constantly changing, which means you could lose or make money when reimbursing your employees for their overseas travel expenses (and create employee friction). 

4. Debit spend management 

You can get pre-payment cards linked to an online dashboard from one provider and see employees’ purchases in real-time

But you have to make constant transfers to employees’ pre-payment cards from your bank account, which takes time and negatively affects your cash flow. FX and transaction fees can also be costly. 

5. Credit card spend management

Creating and analysing expense reports is easier when employees use company credit cards for corporate travel management and don’t have to reimburse employees.

Corporate card expense management tools offer features such as a photo app to capture, upload, and attach receipts to transactions so you’ll have fewer instances of lost, missing, or damaged receipts. Some tools even enable cost categorisation so you can save time on keeping accounts up to date.

However, like debit cards, FX and hidden fees make frequent travel expenses costly and decrease your profit margins. 

Use Jeeves to solve your T&E management challenges

Jeeves combines a spend management platform ideal for simplifying T&E with a linked corporate credit card account.

Jeeves spend management platform for travel expense management
Jeeves spend management platform

Unlike a traditional credit card spend management tool, Jeeves enables you to:

  • Manage and track T&E via one centralised dashboard. Both you and your employees can see, track and manage travel expenses from one account. 
  • Reduce costs and increase profit because Jeeves is completely free. There are no FX, card, transaction or account fees.
  • Issue employees individual Jeeves’ physical or virtual business credit cards and monitor their spending in real-time during their travels on the Jeeves dashboard. You can even create cards specifically for travel, so they remain separate from employees’ recurring business expenses. 
  • Add and remove credit from cards as you want. You can also set, raise and lower spending limits on each employee's card with a click. Jeeves is one of the best business credit cards for employees because you’ll never have unused funds stuck on one card ever again. 
  • Filter by card number, user, and physical or virtual cards to see and group transactions. You can even filter by attached or unattached receipts to quickly spot missing proofs of purchase and follow up immediately with your employees. 
  • Download transactions in CSV, Excel or PDF formats. For example, you can download an employee’s credit card transactions for the dates they were away on business with just a click. 
  • Run reports on individual remote employee spend instantly. Thanks to Jeeves’ QuickBooks and Xero integration, you can have your travel spend transaction data synched automatically every day to make it easier to manage remote employee spending.

Here’s how you can use Jeeves to manage your travel expenses effortlessly….

Track and manage your business expenses from one centralised account

Jeeves offers both desktop and mobile app versions of expense management software in one centralised account so you can manage your global teams as they travel across countries. 

With Jeeves, you can:

  • Get real-time spending visibility instantly. See all your real-time travel expenses for each staff member on the Jeeves dashboard.
Jeeves transactions of travel expenses
Jeeves transactions screen
  • Receive purchase receipts straight away. You can avoid receiving a pile of receipts at the end of each month. With the Jeeves App, employees can capture, upload and attach receipts to specific transactions with a click wherever they are. Employees can free themselves from carrying paper receipts during their travels and you’ll have more office space because we save all your digital receipts in the cloud forever. 
  • Automate all your travel expenses to streamline your accounting. Analyse T&E granularly by employee on the dashboard by creating a physical or virtual card for each staff member solely for travel purposes (employees can add virtual cards to digital wallets like Apple or Google Pay). This makes tracking employee spending and managing budgets across employees, staff, departments and collaborators easier.
  • See expenditure reported in home currency. Transactions appear on the Jeeves dashboard in your home currency. You can reconcile expenses quickly and get a clear idea of how much you’re really spending on T&E abroad.
  • One-click expense reports. Filter by card or employee to see travel transactions and choose custom dates to view expenses made only when travelling. 
Transaction filtered by employee card
Transaction filtered by employee card
Transactions filtered by date
Transactions filtered by date
  • Categorise travel-related expenses easily. Xero and QuickBooks automatically download your transaction data daily. Link each new purchase to a category in batches once a day to stay up to date. It’s now much easier to see what you’re spending on taxis, hotels, flights, food and more.
  • Close out monthly and quarterly accounting easier. Filter transactions for attached or unattached receipts in the dashboard and chase up missing receipts immediately. Getting receipts in faster means you have the latest and most accurate T&E information across your business to make better financial decisions for your company.
Transactions filtered by attached or unattached receipts
Transactions filtered by attached or unattached receipts

Manage all your spending and expenses from one multi-currency account. Try Jeeves.

No FX fees on foreign currencies payments

Jeeves has done away with all fees and forex charges to make doing business internationally easier, quicker and more affordable.

With Jeeves, you can:

  • Save up to 4% in fees on every transaction. If you’re overseas buying stock, IBAN transfers can cost up to 4% and the standard credit, debit, and pre-paid card fee for forex transactions is 3%. With Jeeves, you pay nothing for international purchases so you can reduce costs and increase margins. 
  • Get rid of pre-paid transfer charges. Pre-paid card providers may charge you for transferring money in your home currency to a pre-paid card in a different currency (i.e., USD bank account to EUR payment card). There’s no need to transfer funds with Jeeves because it’s a credit card on a single account. You can create multiple cards for multiple users, all from the same account. And unlike most payment card providers, Jeeves is a business credit card with no annual fee per card issued or per card user
  • Simplify your international banking. You need time and money to set up and maintain overseas bank accounts to make fee-free forex transfers onto pre-paid cards or avoid FX charges on debit payments. With Jeeves, you can pay your credit bill in your home currency no matter what currency a supplier bills you.
  • Eliminate losses from currency fluctuation swings. Big swings in the values of currencies can mean you underpay or overpay your employee when reimbursing them. Because Jeeves allows you to pay in your home currency anywhere in the world, you’re unaffected by swings in exchange rates.
  • Earn cash back on every transaction. Get up to 2% cashback on all employee’s cards, travelling or not, in your first 90 days with Jeeves and up to 1.5% thereafter. You can reduce T&E costs across the company (and increase your cash flow).

Jeeves cashback as seen via app
Jeeves cashback

Access credit for greater control and flexibility

Jeeves is a business credit card essential for growth and control. 

You don’t need to load money onto Jeeves as you do with pre-paid cards. You don’t need money in your bank account to pay for something with a debit card. Pay travel-related expenses now with Jeeves credit cards and get up to 30 days to pay the credit back.

With Jeeves credit cards, you can:

  • Up employees’ spending limits when needed. Your total Jeeves credit never changes during the month, but how you choose to allocate the money does. Just log in, choose the credit card, and then add credit to your employee’s card within seconds. You can even set a spending limit. If your employee doesn’t spend all their travel credit, no worries. Change the credit in seconds or eliminate it entirely, without affecting your Jeeves credit account.
  • Save your finance team time. No more daily transfers to load up pre-paid cards. No more monitoring your bank balance every day to make sure there's enough to meet debit card purchases. With Jeeves, there's one bill paid once a month, then your credit automatically resets.
  • Be free from staff goodwill and creditworthiness. Why restrict your ability to spend on the business by employees’ personal debit or credit card limits? When each employee has their own Jeeves card, you can avoid embarrassing situations with tapped-out personal cards when employees can’t pay for clients’ meals or drinks. 
  • Coming soon: automated expense requests and approvals!

Sign up to Jeeves today in just 5 minutes and receive a response within 24 hours.

Protect your bottom line with money-saving insights

Jeeves enables you to develop data-backed travel policies because you’ll have the transparency of costs you need to optimise your travel spend.

For example, you can:

  • Detect rogue spending instantly. Spot straight away whether an individual item of spending is within company rules. With Jeeves, you can examine receipts and their associated photos and documentation transaction by transaction in real time.
  • Identify the highest-spending members of staff. When you issue a card for each employee, you can see who the higher-spending employees are on the dashboard (and via Xero and QuickBooks integration). This way you can educate employees to spend better.
  • Set realistic monthly and trip budgets. Download Jeeves transactions in CSV, Excel or PDF so you can analyse and set guideline amounts for entertainment, food, accommodation and other travel-related costs.
  • Prove to investors you’re in control. Give investors the peace of mind they need on how you’re handling cost control on travel-related and all other spend categories. Run accurate, up-to-date payment reports using the information recorded on Jeeves and synched to Xero and QuickBooks.

Enjoy travel perks like free airport lounge access

You can get more out of the Jeeves business credit card than just expense management. Every Jeeves cardholder can enjoy access to over 1,300 airport lounges around the world. All you need is to email lounges@tryjeeves.com to receive your lounge key access or QR code.

Employee loyalty will skyrocket and everyone will enjoy major benefits of airport lounges like:

  • Saving money with free food and drinks. Restaurant and bar bills rack up, especially when delayed flights mean longer wait times for staff stuck at the airport.
  • Increased internet security. All airports have free Wi-Fi, but airport lounges provide separate, more secure connections because of the reduced number of users.  

You can also enjoy travel-related discounts with some of Jeeves' partners, including:

  • Flok. Get 10% off when you're planning and executing the perfect company retreat or team offsite.
  • Safetywing. Receive up to 50% off global health insurance to cover your employees and contractors worldwide under one plan, regardless of where they live.
  • Freightcom. Get up to 10% off when you need a shipment safely delivered to any country in the world.
Jeeves rewards examples
Enjoy up to $100,000 in Jeeves partner perks

Want to start saving money and optimising your travel expenses? Sign up today and try Jeeves.

How a growing global fintech uses Jeeves

To help you better understand how to use Jeeves as your T&E solution, here’s an example. 

One Jeeves client, a UK-based fintech company in the cryptocurrency space, uses Jeeves to monitor and manage T&E costs, save money, and get access to credit.

When they exhibit at and attend overseas conferences, their employees use Jeeves cards to book flights, entertain clients, and meet other expenses, whether overseas or at home.

It doesn't matter if they're in Atlanta, Amsterdam, Adelaide, Anqing or Ahmadabad, our client always pays in their own currency with Jeeves. This means simplified accounting and greater savings thanks to the zero FX charges on Jeeves company cards.

And because they make one payment to Jeeves for all their card usage every 30 days, they no longer have to:

  • Preload each employee’s card with money from the company bank account
  • Reconcile and reimburse 20 different employees who used their personal cards for business.

Now, there's just one statement and one balance that needs to be cleared every month.

And, if they want to find out how much they spent at last week's conference in Amsterdam, the answer is a log-in away on their Jeeves dashboard or a click to open the Jeeves app to access our free global expense management software.

Take control of your company travel expenses with Jeeves

Jeeves make domestic and overseas corporate travel expense management easier for fast-growing companies. You’ll have the latest spending information available directly via the dashboard in a centralised account, a streamlined way to attach receipts to purchases, and accounting software integration so that you get the best value for money long-term.

On top of that, you’ll benefit from cashback on all your spending and no card, account or forex fees.

Note: Take charge of your travel-related expenditure and apply to Jeeves today.

Written by: Mark Fairlie

Sources:

https://thepaypers.com/cards/centers-survey-explains-employees-feelings-about-using-personal-cards-for-work--1246668