Is Your Travel Program Overpaying Your Hotels?

Have you ever purchased an item on sale, only to find out later on your receipt you didn’t get the discount? You just performed an audit. Now, how many times are you not catching that discrepancy between agreed-upon price tags? Turns out, if you are in charge of booking hotels, it might be a significant amount!

Scary news for you: too many businesses without a solid travel management system in place don’t double-check their negotiated hotel contract information, and they typically get an unfortunate result — they pay more for their travel program. We can blame rate problems on several factors: infrequently checking or not performing audits, going through the wrong channels, or trusting people who don’t deserve full control over your travel process. This issue needs attention fast since one out of six audits contains an error.

Why wouldn’t companies frequently audit their expenditures? It always comes back to the two major resources — money and time. Global Business Travel Association’s resource, “Hotel Rate Audits – Don’t Leave Money on the Table,” says that 42 percent say they lack the resources to do so, and 16 percent say outsourcing is also too expensive.

That’s where Creative Lodging Solutions comes in. CLS announced recently that we have surpassed an astounding $400 million savings milestone for clients. Our corporate travel service has reserved over 13 million traveler nights nearing $1 billion in total bookings and streamlined clients’ reservation process with negotiated hotel rates, accurate consolidated invoicing, improved travel policy adherence and robust reporting. We leverage our hotel expertise and cost reduction initiatives to achieve unprecedented savings off hotels’ published best available rates and also actualize indirect savings.

Did we mention that we run those not-so-fun audits 100 percent of the time – even before our clients ever receive their bill?

According to GBTA Foundation, infrequent audit monitoring could prove a fatal mistake for a company’s bottom line. By not performing regular audits and depending on unreliable sources of data, companies are paying far more in hotel costs than they should due to errors in rate loading. Conducting audits to ensure accuracy can help strengthen a travel program.

When companies fail to double check expenditures, it’s costly. In fact, when there is an error, companies are paying 14 percent more than what was originally negotiated.

As we mentioned, some businesses depend on outside sources to audit their sensitive information. Sixteen percent rely on the hotel to notify the client of a discrepancy. No matter whose hands the reports are in, It’s easy to simply overlook detailed audit information on a report.

If you know you’ve got a good rate going, your second responsibility is to keep it that way with frequent auditing. Don’t blindly trust your rates have been properly loaded unless you have an accountable travel management company that has proven its worth.

At CLS, we negotiate rates, track discounts, eliminate unauthorized charges and send you the evidence in a quarterly Stat Pack, so you don’t have to worry about details. We pride ourselves on being a one-stop shop for business travelers in handling their booking, billing, invoicing and tracking needs.

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