While corporate travel appears to be poised to make a big comeback in 2022, there will always be ups and downs, starts and stops, challenges, and obstacles.

Having the right tools and working with the right partners—on both the travel and expense management fronts—is more important than ever for optimizing efficiency, cutting costs, and moving your business forward.

Two recent reports offer guidance as to what those tools are and how they can help you make this your best year ever:

* 7 T&E Lessons from 2021 to Make for a Stronger 2022
* 7 Key Trends That Will Define Corporate Travel & Expense in 2022

Here are just a few of the goals you can extrapolate from them.

Make This the Year to Unify

When it comes to travel and expense management technology, businesses simply can’t afford the inefficiencies created by legacy systems, which are often cobbled together from different vendors.

But a modern, all-in-one travel and expense solution brings travel and spend together seamlessly, automating once-manual tasks and streamlining operations.

According to the report from Skift and TripActions, 7 Key Trends That Will Define Corporate Travel & Expense in 2022: “On the back end, a unified platform reduces complexity for program managers. Instead of separating travel inventory and support and booking technology—legacy platforms that constantly blame each other for technology gaps—a unified system makes it easier to hold one group accountable. In short, you should obviously be able to book, manage, and support travel all in one place online.”

When switching to an all-in-one travel and expense platform, the report from TripActions, 7 T&E Lessons from 2021 to Make for a Stronger 2022, suggests two things to keep in mind:

  • Keep it simple. The rise of easy-to-use apps has changed the game for travel and finance managers. Those that seek solutions with intuitive recording processes and straightforward reimbursement will earn a new level of employee satisfaction.
  • Think holistically. Today’s expense platforms integrate departments and systems to give companies a complete view of their financials. For example, the rise of remote work may lead to new day-to-day expenses and business travel across an entire company, where these may have been limited to one or two teams in the past.

Get On Board With Virtual Cards

The evolution of remote work has shifted employee spending patterns, which requires companies to be flexible with their expense policies. That’s where virtual cards play a vital role.

Virtual cards are ideal for spot purchasing, since finance teams can turn them on and off as needed. They also come with policy baked in, so spend limits are set and any out-of-policy expense won’t even go through. Basically, they combine high degrees of both flexibility and control, which is why they’re growing in popularity: Over the next five years, virtual card use is predicted to grow by 363%.

And combining virtual cards with physical cards in your spend management program, like you can with TripActions Liquid™, empowers your employees to make the purchases they need while giving finance teams control over spend.

Read more about where spend management is headed: Download 7 T&E Lessons from 2021 to Make for a Stronger 2022.

Make Spend Management Less Painful

Let’s face it: No one enjoys busywork. And in a fast-moving economy, companies don’t have the luxury of devoting resources to it.

Yet busywork is exactly what occupies much of the current spend management process for many companies. Employees have to save receipts and manually fill out expense reports. Managers have to manually flag any potential out–of-policy spend. Accounting departments have to manually perform reconciliation at month’s end.

It’s no wonder that 77% of U.S. CEOs want to drive growth through operational efficiencies this year.

But TripActions Liquid automates those manual steps in spend management. Thanks to tools that prevent out-of-policy spend from happening, an automated reconciliation process, and real-time visibility, finance teams can focus on a much more important task—growing the business.

Read more about all of these goals and set some of your own. Download these two important reports for insights you’ll use all year long:
* 7 T&E Lessons from 2021 to Make for a Stronger 2022
* 7 Key Trends That Will Define Corporate Travel & Expense in 2022