Corporate Travel Policy

12 Treasury and Trade Solutions An organization’s corporate credit card program details should be included either in the travel policy or in a separate corporate credit card policy. Employees should be made aware of all aspects of the program including eligibility, card use and responsibilities, the card application process, whether the card’s membership rewards program fee (if applicable) is reimbursable, and whether the card can be used for personal expenses. Incentivizing Employees to Make Timely Payments On-time expense reporting or timely payments to corporate card suppliers are important policy considerations, and the language included in the travel policy depends on whether the employer has chosen an individual or corporate liability program, as referenced in the previous section. For individual liability card programs it is important that repayment be made fully and in a timely manner, or travelers might lose their card privileges which could interfere with their ability to perform their job. In this case employers should consider including timely and full repayment as performance management metrics that could impact an employee’s annual rating. The same considerations exist for corporate liability card programs. Regardless of the liability program chosen, timely completion of expense reports is important for an organization’s travel management and finance functions to track spend patterns by period, spend category, and business unit. Gifts and Entertainment Gifts in Lieu of Lodging Sometimes employees use business travel as an opportunity to stay with friends or family in lieu of a hotel, saving the organization money and also creating a better and more personalized experience for themselves. With this trend, companies need to address whether travelers are permitted to stay with friends or family and if they can purchase a gift to recognize their host’s hospitality and how much they can spend. Gifts as a Reimbursable Expense Employee and non-employee gift giving is a potential compliance concern when the expense shows up for reimbursement on an expense report. Many organizations use their travel policy to specify whether or not gifts can be submitted for reimbursement through the expense management tool, what limits are allowable, and differences between allowances for employees vs. non-employees. If gifts are handled outside of the expense management tool, potentially as part of a human resource policy, the travel policy should clearly state the organization’s approach to gift reimbursement. Ground Transportation Sharing Economy Ridesharing is a commonplace transportation option for the modern business traveler. Providers like Uber and Lyft are ubiquitous and make up a growing percent of expenses. In 2018, “corporate consumers spent 10% of their costs on Uber” 8 . Your travel policy should specify in which countries you can use companies like Uber and Lyft and the type of car you can ride in. For example, can employees use Uber pool and share a ride with strangers, or should they use Uber XL or Uber Economy? Each of these variations differ in level of security in different countries. Generally, organizations require that employees take a private car through the economy option. The premium, XL, and VIP car services are typically restricted. Black Cars and Private Cars Use of black cars, also referred to as a car service, varies by organization. For example, are employees only allowed to book black cars when the cost is close to other ground transportation options? What if the traveler is arriving at an unfamiliar destination or foreign country or at night? From a duty of care perspective, employees traveling to high risk areas should be informed about ground transportation options that have been vetted by their organization’s global security department. This is especially true in countries where kidnappings of foreigners or terrorist attacks are prevalent. Rail Travel Ensure that employees have guidelines for booking first class vs. coach, as well as express vs. regional rail travel. An example of this might be allowing high speed train travel only if the rail ticket is booked within a certain amount of time from the travel date. Additionally, provide guidelines on when subway or metro travel is allowed. Similar to ridesharing, there can be security implications for the use of public rail transportation in certain high risk destinations. Provide guidance, with the support of your security team, to determine when public rail transportation can be a good option. 8 Belmonte, Adriana, “Uber just hit an impressive corporate America milestone”, Yahoo! Finance , October 25, 2018,