5 things your CEO wants to know about your business travel - Click Travel

You’ve got to give a big presentation to your CEO detailing how much of your company’s budget is being spent on business travel and why. The more time you spend sifting through poorly-kept and partially completed spreadsheets, the more murky the picture becomes and you start to wonder whether you have enough jokes to pad out the rest of the presentation.

The good news is that your CEO is only really bothered about 5 things when it comes to business travel, so you can put your standup routine away.

Any and all information is, for most of us, just a click away, which means we are at permanent risk of information overload – your CEO is just the same. It’s easy to lose track of what’s important when it comes to how your business is travelling and so it’s tempting to just present every piece of data that you can get your hands on. So, what exactly are the crucial questions that need answering for your CEO to truly understand your business travel?

1. How much is being spent?
Your CEO will definitely want to know how much money is being spent on travel overall. This may sound simple, but a lot of organisations don’t have a handle on this number and it often remains unknown. This is usually because the organisation in question has a team of people who are all doing their own thing, meaning that it’s difficult to keep track of what’s being booked.

Whatever the reason, saying that you don’t know what’s being spent (meaning that you don’t know whether it’s in budget) is not a good idea, so it’s best to at least get an estimate of spend for each quarter.

2. What’s it being spent on?
You might know that your organisation is spending £XX,XXX on business travel each year, but is it cost-effective or wildly extravagant with unnecessary overspend? Without a breakdown of where exactly that money is being spent, it’s essentially a meaningless figure.

Sometimes an expense report, which some organisations use, just doesn’t provide the level of detail you need. But if you know precisely what the money is being spent on flights, hotels, trains etc., at what times, with which suppliers and over what period, you’ll be able to provide your CEO with a true picture of your corporate travel.

3 – Why are we spending it?
It’s great to have a travel policy in place to control what actually gets booked, but does the travel that’s taking place actually need to happen? This is something that needs to be tracked. Once you know what’s being spent and where that spend is going, you need to analyse why the travel occurs and whether or not it’s necessary.

Is all your budget being spent on internal meetings, or is there one particular customer, who is costing you more in travel costs than expected, that you need to budget for in the future?

4. Could we have saved some money, and how would we have done it?
So you know what you’re spending, where and why – you’re in a good place. But the next step is a crucial one – you need to find where you could be saving money on your organisation’s travel.

Good reporting will be able to show you quickly and easily what savings have been missed – and where they were missed. It may not always be possible to eradicate missed savings completely, but it’s always a good idea to see where savings could have been made and how you can make sure they are next time – your CEO will be keen to know you’re on top of everything!

5 – Who’s abusing our policy and spending too much?
This is a particularly relevant point if you’ve put some work into creating a great travel policy – you need to know if you have departments or travellers that are regularly abusing the policy and spending too much. Your CEO will want to know that you are enforcing your policy and making sure your travellers understand their role in sticking to budget.

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Alice Tew