Corporate savings on the road
Limiting expenses is an important aspect of any company's business management. While business trips are necessary for communication and exposure, they can also be expensive. Reducing travel spending can directly impact a company's bottom line and is one of the most controllable indirect expenses.
Corporate Savings Plan
Becoming a member of a corporate savings plan is one of the easiest ways for companies to save money when sending employees on business trips. Many financial institutions and credit card companies offer these types of plans, including American Express. The American Express Corporate Savings Plan is open to all corporate card client companies, excluding those operating under an American Express international or global agreement.
AMEX Corporate Card
This plan only applies with the use of the American Express Corporate Card for business expenses incurred for private purposes and allows members to earn rebates each quarter based on quarterly spending and savings. American Express has a plan for small businesses, mid sized businesses and large corporations. In addition, American Express helps companies increase their corporate savings on the road by providing expense management assistance, uncovering savings, negotiating low rates and providing management information.
Airfare and Hotels
Reductions on airfares and hotel rates are also examples of how American Express can help corporations save money. In addition, the American Express Corporate Savings Plan provides members with tools and expense data to help contain costs and control employee spending. This plan also provides companies with automatic savings on business supplies and services as well as business options that provide accounting flexibility. Visit the American Express website at www.americanexpress.com for further information on the programs available.
Visa Corporate Card
Visa also has a program directed at helping companies achieve corporate savings on the road. The Visa Corporate card is ideal for companies with more than ten million in annual sales and more than fifty employees who regularly travel for business. Participation in the program helps companies reduce travel and entertainment costs, streamline expense reporting, and monitor employee travel and spending compliance. The card also offers companies an effective way to collect and manage travel expenses and negotiate travel related contracts. This reduces the time companies have to spend completing expense reports. Visit www.visa.com for more information.
In addition to participating in business savings programs, there are other things corporations can do to increase corporate savings on the road. Companies can reach agreements with specified hotels that provide corporate rates. Many companies set room rate allowances depending on the job grade within the company and install policies that say it is not permissible to stay at a location and expense rate more than what is stated in the policy, unless prior approval is granted. Often, if an employee has to travel to destinations outside the country that are very expensive, exceptions to the policy rules will be made.
Corporations can also reduce corporate savings on the road by using the services of companies such as www.airsavings.com, which provides travel packages that are tailor-made for corporate travelers. Savings include affordable airfares, deals on rental cars and customized itineraries. Benefits include straight through access to the airline, hotel and car rental booking systems, expertise in ship, ferry, and train tickets as well as services for conferences, exhibitions and incentive and team building programs. Special rates are also available for corporate clients taking personal vacations.
Airlines often offer their own programs to help business travelers save money. Delta has its Skymiles program and American Airlines has its Advantage Mileage Points program, both designed to provide business savings. In addition, frequent flyer points can dramatically decrease costs for corporate travelers. Visit the various airline websites to determine which provides the best incentives for you.
Many companies provide field staff with personally assigned company cars, saving the expense of rental cars, which provides substantial corporate savings on the road. The cost of the car is in the form of a subsidy to the associate in order to offset the taxable benefit. In addition to company cars, employees are also given gas cards. This cuts corporate costs by streamlining the process of paying for fuel for the accounts department, which ultimately results in savings through efficiency.
In addition to corporate savings plans offered by credit card companies and third party companies that offer discounted airfare and hotel prices, learning how other successful corporations save money on the road is extremely important. There are countless free business publications your can subscribe to that cater to business executives and discuss important issues, like saving money.
There are many ways for businesses to increase corporate savings on the road. Research the options for the best solutions for your business.