A wide range of regulatory, compliance and financial problems experienced by corporate travellers have been uncovered in a survey by hotel boking platform Roomex.
A third of the 400 respondents claimed administrative efficiency was the primary objective when corporate hotel booking, followed by 22% who cited cost savings and 13% time saving.
Cost containment was cited by 37% of finance and procurement professionals as the main challenge when booking corporate travel.
Small to medium businesses were found to spend a huge amount on travel, the outlay ranking as one of the highest controllable line items affecting a company’s profitability.
In particular, hotel accommodation is a major spend category which if left unmanaged leads to costs escalating.
The Roomex survey found 25% of respondents said a lack of integration with accounting systems and another 25% said hotel invoices that do not match internal cost codes cause issues.
The survey uncovered internal and regulatory audit issues, which could have adverse legal consequences for professionals in finance and procurement.
All of those surveyed claimed that their companies have travel policies in place, yet over a third stated that these policies are not always followed, or reported fairly lax adherence.
In addition 37% stated these policies are influenced by external regulations within their business sector, with a further 13% unsure.
Julian Kulkarni, vice president of marketing at Roomex, said: “It is clear from the survey that many employees face a wide range of difficulties in managing hotel bookings, from the office assistant or PA who makes the booking right through to the person travelling and the CFO.
“Organising travel arrangements for yourself, an army of delegates, colleagues or employees can be a nightmare and what’s more, keeping yourself and all of your travellers up-to-date can cause a serious headache.
“Complicating factors such as negotiating rates with suppliers, last minute cancellations, compliance with internal and externally regulated travel policies, meeting specific needs of business travellers, duty of care to travellers and managing multiple invoices from dozens or even hundreds of hotels adds to the stress for not only the hotel booker but also finance and accounting departments.
“Companies need to wake up to the fact that technology has made it both easier and harder for corporate travel bookings and make sure their solutions are simple for the person travelling.”