The Template's Special Alerts and Reminders
Alert for Budget Short Falls
The template contains an early warning feature that uses conditional formatting to alert the travel planner when the estimates have exceeded 90 percent of travel budget. In the sample template, cells in the last column will be formatted with light red fill and bright red text red when the expenses reach 90 percent of the allotted budget. Having a cushion of 10 percent provides some leeway for unexpected expenses and gives the person making the arrangements an opportunity to shop around for discounts. However, the 90 percent level is arbitrary and can be changed by resetting the conditional formatting in the last column of the budget to: "value is greater than =$C$3*(choose a percent)."
Reminder to Check for Discounts
The template includes an example of a pop up reminder that warns the planner to check for discounts when an amount exceeding $100 has been entered for the lodging of Employee 1.
Other reminders can be added to the template to follow company policies regarding other expense limits. In Excel, reminders are set up by using the data validation tool. Simply, select the cells and then click on the Data Tab and then select Validation. From Settings choose Custom and then type in the formula that will capture your parameters. The sample template uses ">100." After setting the formula, choose an Error alert and then type in the warning message in the Title and Description. For example, the example template includes the message: "Check for Discounts."
Special discounts, such as frequent flyer miles and group rates for hotels, can keep a budget within its target and should be investigated thoroughly along with other saving opportunities. By starting with this travel business template, you will have a useful tool to plan your travels in advance and determine when cost cutting initiatives need to be taken.
If you're looking for sample forms and downloadable templates, check out Bright Hub's resource guide Over 50 Free Project Management Templates and Sample Forms.