How is ML, AI impacting the growing business travel expense process in the digital age?

The tedious process of business travel and expense management

Business travel and expense is a massive industry contributing to over 10% of the global GDP amounting to nearly 10% of the jobs. The sky-high numbers are humongous, and they depict a story that looks all rainbows and cherries across different lanes of businesses. The figures are daunting and surely call for the tech-business industry to explore opportunities and avenues of commerce. It has led to various virgin technologies including Blockchains, AI, ML to team up and build the most exceptional automated business travel and expense management system. The requirements are dynamic, scalability is on stake, and there are unimaginable pathways of possibilities. It can help reduce cost, increase productivity and make life easier for the cumbersome travel & expense management service.

How does an automated business travel and expense management process work?

What are the technologies involved in the latest Business travel and expense management systems?

The present-day business travel and expense management systems are highly scalable, precise and very robust. They are all empowered with complex user-centric use cases of artificial intelligence, machine learning and the spine of Blockchains that holds the complete system together for an excellent performance. Apart from this, 360° digital transformation is bringing business travel and expense management systems to web applications and useful mobile apps. It leads to a consistent innovation with all superior present-day technologies of web development like JavaScript enabled libraries, dedicated search methodologies, and agile development process. Recent mobile app development takes the usual route through Android and iOS development with precise interfacing of all functionalities in the central business travel and management system.

How does business travel and expense management system function?

Empaneling of vendors and third-party services

For quality assurance, credibility and accountability purpose, all secured business travel and expense management systems impanel vendors and third services from the relevant space. It is generally done for security purpose, and company employs are advised to avail the services from empaneled vendors. However, they are allowed to make outsider claims once paid from their pocket but making reservations and incurring expenses through empaneled vendors makes the verification process more manageable, and remittances much quicker.

Placing orders & reservations

Robust business travel and expense management systems have real-time queues and order authorization process for employees. It is to operate in a safe space and make reservations on priority conveniently. It improves their business travel experience and minimizes other expenses to a large extent. It is because they are less likely to be a victim of a fake price hike while booking services online. It is essential to make sure that the order queue and reservation process are entirely authentic. Also, empower customers to avail customer support services all round the clock.

Outside claims

It is an integral part of the business travel and expense management system. It comprehensively deals with unaccounted services and miscellaneous expenses which cannot be availed through the system. These services and own costs are followed by uploading of bills warrants and invoices for further verification at automatic and manual level. Before that, no remittances are made, and all checks are completed.

Verification Process

Any service reservations or travel expenses whether (empaneled or outsider) are subjected to a rigorous verification process. The primary objective behind it is to eliminate all possibilities of forgery, fraud bills and unwonted losses to the organization under the name of business travel expenses. It is the most critical part of business travel and expense management system and involves confirmations and verification with various stakeholders involved in a particular reservation or availing of services.

Approval

It is the confirmation of the considered bill amount and liability of the organization to reimburse certain business expenses. It is a highly critical operation that relays responsibility on the company and acts as a proof of claim for employees in case of future disputes. Generally, it is done through emails and automated notifications.

Proof of remittances

Blockchain-enabled business travel and expense management processes are capable of deploying smart contracts. It gives them an added advantage of leveraging complete transparency, building trust among third parties and enjoying the security of foolproof immutability. The smart contracts are shared and executed across various stakeholders once the remittances are executed and specific request are created within the stipulated duration of time.

What is the contribution of ML, AI in business travel and expense management?

Highly relevant and context-sensitive search

Artificial intelligence achieved through machine learning has made searches highly interactive and context-sensitive in real time. A scenario like versatile business travel and expense management system requires high context sensitivity for proper output and the most relevant results. Analysis of past searches and specific ML algorithms are capable of building the right pool of research keywords. They are most likely to be executed through the search bar. They are continuously put forth in real time that gives a seamless feel of a fast application.

Super personalized UX

Artificial intelligence is all about analyzing the interaction of a system with humans. AI accounts all the choices, preferences and domain space of a variety of services provided by employers through the system. For instance, an employee from the International relations department of the company frequently travels abroad. The internal services and search suggestions will also include the best reasonable offers on a resolution of problems that are most likely to occur while making those reservations. Moreover, they will also get personalized notifications for the service availed or something similar.

Integration of virtual assistant

Modern day business travel expense management systems come with an integrated virtual assistant that is a logical agent based on machine learning. Their decisions help you improve productivity and also act as process enhancers. Nowadays, virtual assistants are capable of doing searches on your behalf, helping you book tickets and also compare the lump sum average of expenses in different itineraries across various locations on the calendar.

Did you know?

There is a world of difference between chatbots and logical agents. Chatbots are preset, programmed in the form of question and answers. They mostly contain the items which users are most likely to ask across various trajectories in the knowledge center and also have minimal decision-making abilities. They cannot go beyond the scope of their program and skills. Whereas, logical agents are capable of understanding your speech/text in real time and rationally reply with the most relevant results. They are programmed to map the users’ brain and respond most logically. They are brilliant and always evolve with time and higher content of use.

Projections and predictions for costs and expenses

Artificial intelligence is well capable of projecting and precisely predicting entirely correct cost and losses with a positive margin of error. Taking certain factors into consideration and fine-tuning target variables including:

· Variation with time

· A pattern of a surge in online prices

· The relation between web traffic and prices

· Availability

Such critical factors are taken into consideration for usual ML algorithms and several other techniques like time series analysis for precisely predicting the cost. It gives a rough idea about how much should it cost to employ to account certain expenses within the system.

Automatic-verification of uploaded bills & receipts

Artificial intelligence and concepts like computer vision, Image processing, and analysis are capable of finding out fraudulent activities within the business travel and expense management system. All the outsider bills and receipts that are uploaded by employs are subjected to rigorous indexing and comparison of image databases for their complete credibility. It is one of the most advanced applications of artificial intelligence. It makes life much easier for the verification team. Once the images are tested against the ML model, there is a certain amount of confidence while approving the outsider receipts and a drastically reduces the number of unnecessary expenses which the company might have to pay.

Scope for Open-Source Intelligence (OsInt)

Open source intelligence or OsInt is the related concept of, but its full range makes it applicable in numerous cases. Open source intelligence is all about gathering, documenting, managing and analyzing openly available information in the form of text, concepts, images and the first layer analysis of the web and mobile engagement. It is all about making or building insights from the information that is available in the public domain and bring out critical points that can help you find info like

· Increasing knowledge about empaneled third-party vendors

· Ongoing offers

· Feasible travel routes

· Possible modes of transport

· Accountability of expenses

Conclusion

Automated business travel expense management systems are on the boom, but there is a long curve of maturity that they’re expected to rise in future. Factors like scalability, reliability and fault tolerance are still under cover of mystery. While, a growing number of corporate houses, MNCs and rational businesses choose and adopt various kinds of business travel and expense management systems. The endless debate over in-house development of automated business travel and expense management system and third-party services now have a new contender in the form of offshore services. Nowadays, leading analytics and Technology Company is extensively cost-effectively offering offshore development services. They are quickly molding the business landscape into a leaner and meaner proposition.

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