Out-of-policy bookings are the mortal enemy of anyone who’s given the task of controlling an organisation’s business travel spend. This type of booking is often untrackable and unexpected – in fact, no one ever really notices them until the expense claim is flagged, so it’s best to try and stamp them out stat.


Your first step should be to get a clearer understanding of exactly what is happening and why it’s happening. Analyse any available data in order to identify what is being booked; for example, is the problem exclusive to accommodation, or to rail or air travel? Once you’ve spotted any trends in travel type, you’ll then need to look at who the main culprits are; is it a certain department, level of seniority or just particular individuals?

Then, with ‘what’ and ‘who’ checked off, it’s time to get to ‘why; is it a matter of convenience? Is your current booking system difficult to use or access? Once you’ve gained a bit of clarity on what’s causing people to break the rules, you can then start to fix it.

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