Many companies require employees at every level to travel for work-related reasons. Whether it’s to work on a project for several months, attend a training conference for a few days, or for a same-day trip, a company usually has to cover the expenses associated with travel. Business trips need to be documented with the appropriate paperwork for accounting and management purposes, so your organization should have a travel request form for company use. Such a request form may also be used to help plan work and create staffing plans.
Why Do I Need a Travel Request Form?
Depending on the home and destination locations, there are various travel options for employees to take. Plane tickets, rental cars, lodging, meals, and other expenses must be documented for business records and invoicing. Some companies have special arrangements with travel agencies or providers that will determine travel details. A travel authorization form can be designed to restrict travel options to certain companies. It also allows approving managers to be aware of the estimated costs for travel and plan accordingly with respect to budgets and funding sources. Having such a document avoids a situation where an employee books accommodations that are beyond budget limits or are otherwise inappropriate for business travel.
What Should Be Included in a Trip Request Form Template?
A trip request form template should include all the information needed for the purpose that this document serves. If it’s used for staffing planning, it should include information about the number of employees and the dates of travel. If the template will be part of a project or work authorization record, then the template should include information about a job ID, project number, or other funding sources for the travel. A complete travel approval request needs to include all information related to the proposed costs. A sophisticated, electronic template may even limit choices based on the type of trip or its duration. For example, a minimum or maximum distance may be required for an employee to opt for travel by plane versus car.
What Details Are Necessary for an Employee Travel Request Form?
Your organization needs a consistent document that includes the same details for each travel request form. There may be regulatory requirements for work travel that is funded by federal, state, or local projects. Detailed record keeping is a must for a company, so a staff travel request form needs this info at a minimum:
- Employee Details: Include the name of the employee and other details, such as an employee ID and operational group (e.g. sales, accounting, engineering, architecture, etc.). The group information can help a business track its spending on travel within various groups and forecast future travel funds based on this data.
- General Travel Details: The form needs to account for the destination, the hours/dates of travel, and the purpose of the travel approval request. If there is a charge code or project ID to be associated with the request, it can also be included here.
- Estimated Travel Costs and Information: A complete request form should include all pertinent details:
- Plane Tickets: Airline, one-way or round-trip information, and ticket costs
- Ground Transporation: This can be estimated costs for the use of taxi or rideshare services, such as Uber or Lyft. The template can allow an estimated per diem cost if these services will be used for multiple days. If the employee or employees want to rent a car instead, specific rental companies can be included here with estimated costs based on the number of days or expected mileage. Miles can be estimated using mapping or navigation programs.
- Lodging: Your organization may have special arrangements with certain hotel chains for preferred rates and other amenities. The cost per night can also be calculated here, according to internal organization procedures.
- Meals: Costs for food can be estimated on a per diem basis or a maximum value per meal.
- Other Expenses: Other purchases necessary for the work to be performed on the trip.
- Signatories: The travel authorization form should include as many spaces for signatures to be provided, including that of the employee making the request and all supervisory approvals. The form should also have a way to store review comments from supervisors, and other details required for the record.
- Payment Details: Some organizations allow employees to make purchases using personal debit or credit cards for future reimbursement. Others may only allow managers at certain levels to make payments using corporate travel accounts. The template should provide this information and enable users to make selections as appropriate.
How Should a Travel Request Form Be Implemented?
Work processes that require approvals from people that aren’t co-located can benefit from an electronic platform. An employee travel request form needs to be completed, submitted, reviewed, and approved or rejected in a timely manner. If there are questions about granting approval, you can create a process that allows quick distribution of a form to facilitate discussions. A digital request form should be accessible any time, any place, irrespective of operating systems or devices.
Fluix brings you a flexible, lightweight, and scalable solution for processing and documenting travel requests for your business. You can quickly build a trip request form template that is easy to use and distribute among your entire team. You don’t have to understand coding or create apps for use on multiple devices or operating environments. Try our free, no-obligation 14-day trial to realize better travel request management for your company. Work smarter, not harder, with Fluix today.
Manage Travel Requests Faster
- Approve business travel expenses
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