Tips for saving money on ground transportation expenses

4 March 2019
Saving money on ground transportation expenses

Uber has taken the crown as the single most expensed brand in Australia and New Zealand, as it becomes the ground transportation of choice for many business travellers.

With business travel expense management becoming increasingly more time consuming for finance teams, as well as a budgeting and compliance headache for CFOs, Serko’s integration of its Zeno expense management platform with Uber for Business makes the process of reconciling work trips easier – for both the traveller and finance managers.

There are two ways that organisations can save money by taking advantage of this option to integrate their Uber travel with Zeno.


Reduced travel costs

Companies can achieve hard cost savings related to travel spend by allowing their employees to easily and quickly submit their travel receipts through the app at the time of booking an Uber. Because of the cost differential between Uber and traditional ground transportation options, companies can make an immediate saving by taking advantage of this cost differential (between 20% - 30%, according to average cost savings, based on Uber’s research on US companies’ average travel spend).

If employees and customers can walk out of an airport or business location with the choice of using Uber or other ground transportation, they are more likely to choose Uber to avoid the complexity of claiming a taxi receipt. Therefore, the company benefits from this direct cost savings. Multiply this across all ground transportation expenses and you will see this adding up very quickly to significant savings.


Saving time for finance teams

Finance teams spend a lot of time verifying, validating and reconciling high volume, low value expense claims against corporate travel policies. By streamlining this process, as well as ensuring all travel is checked at the time of booking the ground transportation against the policy rules, this equates to a significant reduction in time and man hours spent correcting and chasing expense reports.

Employees also benefit from avoiding the time manually inputting the same high volume, low value expenses into the expense management system. The information is automatically captured in the system, meaning there is less room for error by both employees and accounts team.


Machine learning

Following Uber’s announcement that it will be rolling out machine learning through its Uber for Business app, companies will be able to recommend whether a user should be using their personal or business profile when this feature rolls out locally.

Currently, finance teams need to manually flag a trip that is potentially out of policy, for example if someone uses their business profile after 5pm. With machine learning, the more employees use Uber for Business, the more it will detect patterns and trends and automatically flag a potential policy issue.

According to Uber, this feature has already seen employees agreeing with these prompts 80% of the time, which reduce misuse charges significantly.

This saves man-hours and time to reconcile and manually flagging receipts or expenses that were incorrect, by surfacing policy misuse at the time of the trip.


Taking advantage of features in Uber for Business, in Zeno

Uber for Business has new features that allow companies to roll out commute programs, late-night rides, candidate travel, delivery, and other travel programs while improving the business travel experience. These features automatically drive benefits to companies through the Zeno’s integration to ensure compliance with travel policies, reduced man hours for finance teams and easier expense claims for employees and customers.


Setting up groups

Groups allow you to manage employees' business travel, commuting, customer travel, late night travel and other travel needs. You can create groups of travellers and enforce different rules for each group, for example executives, interns or salespeople. This makes it easier to manage travel according to roles and needs. You can also assign customised travel programs to each group or set a limit to the cost of each trip. You set the policy and no longer need to worry about out of policy rides.


Policy integration

Set which vehicles are in policy and when trips can be taken. Once you have assigned a program to a group, all trips taken will be checked against your policy rules before the trip is taken, leading to direct cost savings in out-of-policy trips. 


Allowance management

Set specific allowances for Uber trips by using the groups and programs.


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