The organisation of business travel can be a mammoth task, requiring complicated procedures and constant monitoring. The development of innovative software solutions that help manage and automate everything from booking flights and hotels as well as organising expenses have become an invaluable resource for today’s companies.

In a world of globalisation, business travel is often a necessity, even for small-scale companies where employees are predominantly working remotely. Business travel management apps offer a vast range of features that iron out the process and avoid it becoming a headache to arrange.

Whether you’re interested in cutting costs, increasing efficiency, productivity, compliance with company policies or simply keeping employees happy, the benefits of business travel management apps are huge. They can also provide key insight into corporate travel cost patterns, allowing for more efficient future spending.

What is corporate travel management software?

Corporate travel management software refers to the technology used to plan, book and manage every aspect of business travel – from flights and taxis to accommodation and expenses. Taking care of everything before and even after a business trip is completed, business travel management tools also offer to automate company travel policies and invoices.

An efficient business travel system promises to streamline the process considerably, ensuring corporate travel goes smoothly and can work within a company’s budget and travel policies.

In the past, businesses would have needed to manage the process manually – from ensuring that all employees were up-to-date on company business travel policy and allowing them to use any website to book stages of their trip, to processing expense receipts with fiddly internal systems. Or employ an external corporate travel agency to deal with everything, which can be an expensive solution thanks to commission and less oversight of day-to-day efficiency.

These days, developments in travel booking software mean companies can ensure that employees can book business travel themselves while also staying within budget and travel policies. Also, these corporate travel apps often include company payment details so collecting receipts and reimbursing employees for expenses is no longer necessary.

Advantages of using business travel management tools

The development of business travel management tools has enhanced the ease and efficiency of planning and carrying out corporate travel hugely.

The steps that smart business travel software can help with are many:

  • Planning travel – when you’re in the planning stages of a work trip, business travel management tools make it easy to keep track of travel arrangements. By consolidating confirmation emails, tickets and travel bookings into one itinerary stored in a single app, this technology makes it possible to organise and access information while on the move.
  • Booking travel – when you reach the booking phase of a business trip, travel management software means you can compare options for flights, hotels, car rentals, and more all via one tool (and be sure that whatever you book will be in accordance with company policy).
  • Approving travel – from a manager or company perspective, technology that automates the approval process for business travel is incredibly helpful. Automated workflows direct employee travel requests through various channels to be reviewed and approved or denied, eliminating risk in the process of human error.
  • Ensuring business travel policy compliance – company business travel policies can be complex and confusing for employees to follow. Corporate travel software can establish and maintain clear compliance guidelines that are easier for employees to understand and for employers to enforce.
  • Providing business travel support – modern technology makes it much easier for companies to offer support to employees before, during and after a business trip. With AI chatbots and automated systems, it’s possible to provide 24/7 assistance – whether it’s helping business travellers find the best deals, advice with travel-related emergencies, disruptions or simply ensuring a smooth journey.
  • Expense management and reimbursement – business travel management apps that specifically deal with expenses allow companies to integrate business travel processes with accounting and HR systems. This streamlines the finance side of things and saves a great deal of time.
  • Collecting data insights – by utilising corporate travel management software to collect and analyse data, companies can gain insight into how to streamline future business travel plans. From tracking expenses to flight booking costs, this technology can reveal patterns that will save money and time later.

Which travel management tools do businesses need?

1. Booking tools

Most employees prefer to book their own business travel but can find it hard to navigate company policy and ensure they’re following the correct procedures and policies. Booking tools or apps provide access to clear instructions, a range of booking options and records of past trips.

2. Expense management tools

Keeping and manually submitting business trip receipts for reimbursement can be the most frustrating aspect of corporate travel for both business travellers and finance teams. From invoice scanning to generating and storing travel spending reports, expense management tools help companies automate the process and integrate business travel processes with accounting and HR systems.

3. Itinerary planning tools

Travel itinerary management tools centralise the many elements of business travel planning. By organising email confirmations and tickets in a master calendar or itinerary, these apps and tools make business travel plans easy to view and manage.

Top travel management tools

1. Booking.com for Business

Booking.com for Business is a free business travel platform designed to help you take care of your business travel from start to finish. Easy-to-use, it will make sure your business saves money on corporate travel, that business travel can be booked in a couple of clicks from many options, and that the whole process will be smooth. Business travellers also enjoy exclusive business rates, earn loyalty points and benefit from complimentary 24/7 support from the leading travel management company CWT.

2. Travelperk

Travelperk is a handy app that gathers all of the aspects of a business travel trip that you need to book in one place – whether that includes flights and trains, or hotels and meals. With a handy mobile app comparison on price and convenience across sites from all over the web, it makes finding the appropriate options within a certain company budget much easier. And speeds up the research, planning and booking stages of the process, thus saving money and time and proving an invaluable resource for staff tasked with arranging corporate travel.

3. SAP Concur Travel

SAP Concur Travel is one of the most well-known corporate travel apps where you can book flights, hotels and car rentals, as well as make use of expense management and policy enforcement. Using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), SAP can also capture receipts and integrate them with accounting systems.

4. Egencia

Egencia is an ingenious global B2B tech platform for travel management. With 24/7 customer support available, users can book travel and accommodation services, as well as manage their entire trip. At the same time, companies can make use of data insight features and travel policy adherence all on one convenient and reliable platform.

5. CWT

In addition to providing a wide range of booking options, CWT offers features for managing meetings and events. With round-the-clock travellers support, risk management and travel policy adherence, this makes it a comprehensive app for business travel needs – whether you’re looking at it from the employer or employee perspective.

6. Navan

An intuitive and easy-to-use app designed to simplify corporate travel processes, Navan offers business travel and expense solutions. Its features offer flexibility and time-saving potential for business travel programmes – from automatically synchronising bespoke expense systems and approval workflows, to 24/7 customer service and loyalty points for cost-effective trips. So it’s hardly surprising that this integrated platform is frequently ranked as one of the top travel management software services.

Best travel expense management tools:

7. Spendesk

Focused on spend management, Spendesk is software that revolutionises the process of expenses and business travel finance management in general. Users enjoy features like spending reports and real-time insight into corporate travel costs, budget advice and information, accounting automation and a credit card offering.

8. Happay

Happay provides business travellers and companies with a straightforward interface that makes all of your spend management processes smoother. Its robust features allow users to upload expenses for reimbursement quickly and efficiently, as well as utilise prepaid company cards to track all payments and enforce spending limits. It also boasts an analytics dashboard, accounts system integration, compliance enforcement and plenty of other enticing benefits.

9. Zoho Expense

A valuable software management tool, Zoho is a web and mobile app that categorises all expenses neatly and automates processes at every business travel stage. With the option of a free trial, companies can try out various customisable features, from expense report submission and insights into business travel efficiency, to fraud detection. And – since Zoho can be integrated with existing workflows – it promises minimal overhaul and the ability to enhance business travel efficiency with immediate effect.

10. Yokoy

Yokoy is an AI-powered spend management platform that streamlines corporate travel processes by automating and consolidating data into detailed reports. Its main appeal lies in its expense management software, its processing of invoices and its smart corporate cards. Spend policies can be tailored to companies’ needs, while the app also crawls and detects policy breaches throughout the expense process. Other highlights include smooth approval workflows and spend analysis that ensures the cost efficiency of a company’s business travel is constantly optimised.

11. Fyle

Fyle offers users automated integration of accounting software with Visa, Mastercard and American Express credit cards. Not to mention reimbursing employees and expense reporting. Saving hours of manual work, it’s an app that’s proven popular with companies thanks to its user-friendly interface and convenience of managing expenses on the move.

How to choose the best business travel system?

The best business travel system will depend on the size and needs of your company. If you're a big corporation with thousands of travelling employees and strong policies, you might go for a platform with more complex policies support and account management. Whereas, if you are a small or mid-sized company, you may prefer a free, self-service tool such as Booking.com for Business to minimise your costs and maximise your results.

If you want to optimise and facilitate the travel process for business trips, then an app or platform like Booking.com for Business may be the most effective; allowing users to book every stage of their corporate travel and store confirmations and tickets all in one place.

But with the vast array of travel management solutions available today, you’ll be able to find business travel software that can be tailored to and fulfil your specific needs. They help businesses to achieve their goals and save money, help travel admins to manage and book travels for employees in a more efficient way, and help travellers to choose easily from the variety of options available. From offering 24/7 customer support to real-time business travel data, today’s travel management apps and tools promise to streamline and enhance the entire corporate travel experience perfectly for you.

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