So you’ve always used an invoice account to pay for your travel program? Never felt the need to investigate the other payment options out there? Are you sure you’ve stuck to the best payment solution for your business?
To help us break down the myths about the different forms of payment, we sat down with our Head of Shared Services, Nevine Blum to discuss invoice accounts and credit cards, and what you might not know about either.
Reconciliation – the hard way
As a TMC, our goal is to simplify complex processes and make your travel program as smooth as possible. This includes paying for and reconciling your travel expenses. An invoice account can be convenient at the buying stage but did you know it can also cause all sorts of dramas come reconciliation time?
“Reconciliations become more onerous for the client because of the delays and complexities that come with matching expenses to hotels and flights”, says Nevine. “There’s so much room for human error – how do you explain spending $200 on a business trip if you lose the invoice?!”
She suggests avoiding the chaos and paying for your travel with the company credit card instead, especially if you already have an Expense Management System that can take a direct feed from the credit card provider.
Inefficient and costly
Although a 30 day invoice account is often viewed as a way to remove merchant fees and thus save clients' money, Nevine says it is an inefficient method of payment that adds cost to the TMC and consequently, the client.
“Costs of manual reconciliation have been calculated at up to $83 per line. Ultimately this cost is passed back to the client in one form or another.”
Not to mention the payment period on an invoice account is usually a maximum of 30 days compared to other options available. Did you know, credit card providers are now able to offer organisations 60 day accounts?
What about online reporting?
Most card providers offer online access to daily management information reporting. Such a facility is not available if you’re using an invoice account.
Nevine says, “Why would you want to lose the benefit of enhanced data? This lack of transparency into the billings leads to questions around whether you are paying the correct amount.”
On the other hand, credit card statements show exactly what has been transacted – the airline charges show directly, so a $100 fare will show as $100. Simple!
So, is it time to reconsider that old invoice account?
We understand business travel can be tricky, especially choosing what payment solution works best for your travellers. The good news is we’re experts at what we do, and we know from experience that a simple reconciliation process means less work for you and your TMC – win, win!
If you would like more info on payment solutions or any other travel services, you can contact us and one of our knowledgeable team members will be happy to discuss your options with you.