Last year, 488 million Americans took a business trip–that’s roughly 1.3 million trips each day in the U.S. If you think that’s crazy, just wait until next year. According to the Global Business Travel Association, business trips have increased in number every year by 38 percent since 2009.

And let’s not even get started on the costs. All I’m gonna say is business travel results in almost $318.9 billion worth of annual business expenses. Who accounts for all the Travel and Expenses(T&E)?

Larger corporations that require frequent business travel have T&E solutions that book and organize travel, along with third-party card providers with extensive business travel points and rewards systems. Smaller corporations seek and use the most compatible T&E solutions for their company. However, startups and small businesses have a more difficult time accessing the same solutions and rewards when it comes to travel so oftentimes they just use generic booking services.

Each business, no matter how big or small, needs a T&E solution. To find the best fit for all, consider these three levels of business travel management:

 

Level One

If you participated in one of those 488 million trips, you probably booked your trip through a public booking company such as Expedia or Bookit. Anyone can use these services to get good deals on flights, hotels, and rental cars. Business travelers and personal travelers alike can use this service to get the job done–might I add the the booking job, nothing else. Finances don’t finish with booking your trip and you’re haunted with the hassle of tracking receipts, filing expense reports, and waiting for reimbursements for the following month(s).

For example, let’s say you used Expedia. Once you book your business travel,you’re expected to keep track of all your purchases throughout your trip. Depending on your title and work situation, you are expected to use your personal credit, keep track of each receipt and file an expense report– and then wait to get reimbursed. A lot of pain points employees experience when it comes to business travel relate to expense reports. Hence, level one. Let’s take a look at leve two.

 

Level Two

If you’re on level two, you don’t book through a generic platform like everyone else–you’re better than that. Instead, you manage your T&E through a platform created just for businesses. Take Concur for example. Concur is an accounts payable, expense report automation software with a travel service integration called Tripit. Instead of just booking travel and leaving the rest of the finances to employees, Concur allows you to sync your corporate card, keep track of itineraries in one place, take snapshots of receipts along the journey, and file your expense reports in one place. One step better right? Yes, but not the best.

 

While most ratings show mainly positive feedback, Concur experiences some glitches and limits visibility and access to all employees. Of course it’s not just Concur; other services like Certify complete the same tasks and include similar limitations. In the end, it helps to organize receipts and itineraries, but it doesn’t hide the fact that you’re still filing expense reports. Which brings us to the third and best level of business travel solutions.

 

Level Three

The first level gave you a simple booking platform with amazing deals on flights and hotels, but nothing integrates with your company expenses to make the accounts payable process smoother. Level two steps in to bring an integrated expense management software, which helps keep your receipts and expense reports in one place, but you’re still submitting reports and waiting to get reimbursed. So what would make the perfect T&E solution? It’d be a solution that books you the best travel deals, and provides a payment integration that completely eliminates the expense report process. In other words, Divvy.

Divvy is the most recent platform created that hits this level. And it’s free to use. With Divvy, managers can give each employee a physical card and access to the Divvy app to generate virtual cards to spend wherever and whenever they need. Each transaction completed on a Divvy card is uploaded into the Divvy web app with all the data needed to then export the file to Quickbooks or almost any other accounting software. And voila, no receipt-tracking, expense report-filing, reimbursement-waiting stuff going down–AKA no more financial headaches.

You might ask, “Well if Divvy is free, how much is the travel integration?” Also free. Every Divvy user can access Divvy Travel, a travel service partnered with Travelpass group that saves 15-50 percent more on travel deals than Hotel.com, Expedia, Bookit, and other competitors (Bonus: You can use the deals on there for personal travel too).

There you have it. The final and third level of business T&E management solutions. We might be biased, but we really haven’t found any other level three T&E solution. If you find one, please let us know–then we’ll work hard to create a level four.

 

About Divvy

Divvy is a secure financial platform for businesses to manage payments and subscriptions, build strategic budgets, and eliminate expense reports. By integrating real-time tracking for every transaction, Divvy provides organizations with instant insight into their spend. With Divvy, you can make informed cash flow decisions, curb losses before they happen, and never have to save a receipt again.

For more information, visit getdivvy.com

Get a free demo to learn more.