Corporate travel can be a drain on both your team travelers and your accounting department.

Over the years I have found the best way to manage this is to minimize the paper requirements.  Keep as many processes and management responsibilities in the travel and accounting departments as possible.  Have the person booking travel responsible for verifying the charges incurred on the corporate credit card. Each individuals travel should be booked on under their own corporate credit card number.

Have a written travel policy to follow. Also be aware of any client travel policy you are required to adhere to if you are passing the travel expenses through to a client project (these can generally be found in either your Master Service Agreement or Statement of Work cost breakdown.)

Creating a traveler profile with all of the pertinent information, name, address, telephone number, traveling preferences and preferred hotel and airline vendors etc. Having one document in front of you while doing online or telephone research and booking can save you time. (I also like to note weather they like to have a window or aisle seat, king or queen etc.?)

Create a data base for hotels and car services used near each facility your team visits often or save your travel confirmations in searchable drive/folders to review past travel to the same area.

When searching for flights ask each employee what are their top preferences? Time, costs, route or preferred vendor with these in mind do a general search with Expedia, Kayak etc. but I recommend that you ALWAYS book directly with the vendor especially for airlines, hotels and car rentals. You will find less hidden costs and cancellation policies using this method.

Offer two or three options to the employee and ask for their decision or additional feedback if further research is required.

Once all of the booking for the entire trip has been secured I create one pfd document from electronic confirmations, post it to the corporate calendar event and send to the traveling employee. This allows anyone in the company access to arrival and departure times should they be needed. Also it tracks exactly what credit card expenses were incurred for that travel dates/project.

Paper and electronic copies of all travel confirmations should be kept. I group the paper with the project number or corporate expense explanation noted on it and match with the credit card statement.

All corporate credit cards programs offer a downloadable file for you to manage and or upload into your bookkeeping software. If you feel more comfortable download in excel address line item by line item summarize the charges and enter manually into your bookkeeping software.

After travel has been completed request any cash receipts that need to be reimbursed and create an expense report for the employee to sign off on. I actually recommend creating the reports for your traveling employees especially if they are revenue generating! If this is not feasible in your organization a strict 30 day policy must be upheld or costs can easily get out of hand.

Whenever booking international travel I highly recommend using American Express Travel, they generally have partner facilities which helps secure your reservation and frequently offers upgrades if available.