CFOs love employees who go above and beyond to save their companies money, and never pad their expense reports.
Like the corporate road warrior who got stuck overseas due to a COVID quarantine and expensed $45 for three cases of ramen noodles. (The company happily reimbursed the penny-pinching employee.)
But in the grand scheme of things, we bet most finance professionals would love to do away with travel & expense (T&E) altogether! Consider that 71% of CFOs complain T&E “absorbs too much of the finance teams’ time and attention,” according to a report by CFO Dive commissioned by TravelBank.
Twenty-one percent of the 150 CFOs surveyed don’t think enhanced automation is the answer to reducing T&E headaches either. CFOs and their team members look to employee habits as a major problem.
Whether it’s padding a report with questionable expenses, providing most but not all necessary receipts or booking flights and hotels at the last minute and driving up costs, all of these issues drive up expenses and waste finance staffers’ time. The offending behaviors are frequently against company policies to boot.
T&E could become a bigger problem as business travel and in-person client meet-ups increase. Seventy-three percent of CFOs “agree that violations of T&E policies will become a bigger issue as their companies grow over the next five years.”
The more things change, the more they stay the same: T&E frequently rates as the second toughest operational expense for finance to manage (maintenance and repairs are usually rated No. 1).
Less travel, fewer migraines
One way companies can alleviate T&E hassles? Discourage business travel and keep meetings virtual as much as possible.
According to a recent Deloitte report, 33% of CFOs need to reduce their travel by employee rates by more than 20%. Reason? They’re tasked with reducing greenhouse gas emissions to meet their companies’ sustainability targets.
Forty-four percent of business leaders surveyed by Deloitte say internal meetings and training are “the most replaceable by technology, compared to client rapport building (11%) and client acquisition (7%).”