The current health crisis has shadow doubts and limitations over many activities set up a new normal. Travelling has been one of the most affected sectors of the economy and individuals have seen great restrictions on their movements. Besides the inability to travel due to closed borders, PCR tests and quarantines have to hinder travels due to the additional travel expenses they represent and the hassle they create. 

Focusing on businesses and employees, business trips have become rarer and rarer. Yet, as the world will slowly reopen, so will business travel. Management teams demand employees and team members to submit travel request forms in order to decide upon the relevance of such demand. This article will focus on explaining the travel request process and the efficiency enhancement of using automation software to digitalize the travel request approval workflow.

Travel Request Form

What is a travel request form? A request form for business trips is a mean of record-keeping in the world of corporate travel and business travel. Employees fill in the form with travel details, travel costs, travel itinerary, accommodation requirements, and the key information relevant for their trip. This travel request form is then submitted and an approval process is launched.

Travel expenses

Travel expenses are the core and focal points of travel requests. The cost center needs to assess the veracity of the expenses via extensive manual processes. This is why the submitted request for the upcoming trip needs to be as detailed as possible. Besides, travel requests are usually linked to an invoice number. This invoice explains precisely the budgeted costs to the finance department. When an invoice is produced, data entry may create a human error due to repetitive tasks. Yet, such an invoice system remains the most used workflow by employees and managers.

Travel request approval process

Once the travel request form is submitted with all the necessary information required, including invoice numbers. The travel demand is assessed by the approvers. Approvers may be the person’s manager, the employee in charge of travel policies, or any person decided by the company.

This approval process can include electronic signatures from the approvers and 2FA via mobile devices. Yet, this process is usually simple and demands at least 2 approvers.

Once the travel request approval is granted, a data limitation is usually imposed on the person leaving.

Temporary data limitations

Once the project details and trip details are finalized, the start date is set, and the contacts to be visited are decided, the travel request approval process launches an automatic temporary data limitation for the duration of the trip. This automation reduces errors and avoids letting your employee have access to your data when on leave.

Challenges of NOT using a travel request system

A lack of a proper travel request digitalization workflow poses many and various challenges:

  • Time management and human errors
  • Keep track of key information
  • No control over travel costs
  • Risk of data leakage
  • Poor management visibility

The combination of these challenges has a negative impact on your teams’ efficiency and stress levels.

Automate and Digitalize

Digital processing speeds up the process and cuts out errors by integrating with existing systems. 72% of business leaders agree that digital processing makes businesses more resilient. An affordable, low-code workflow automation platform, like InvestGlass, makes it simple for anyone on the team to build sophisticated workflows to make and approve travel requests. It’s easy to use and intuitive for everyone, meaning less training and quicker implementation.

A requester simply specifies the purpose of the business trip along with the plans, estimated cost, and various details. The travel request is automatically routed for approval to the appropriate signing authority or authorities, based on the estimated total cost and travel advance demanded.

The system collects enough data to give you insights into how the approval workflow can be made faster and more efficient. You can find metrics on the average approval time, the time taken by users to complete their tasks, and other information to know which employees are lacking efficiency.