Travel budget growth is stalling and increasing numbers of organizations are cutting their travel budgets. As potential economic clouds are gathering, how can organizations avoid hampering their own growth by slashing team travel?
Manually attaching receipts to spreadsheets is a real drudge for business travelers. However, their frustrations pale in comparison to those of the finance team, who have to navigate cumbersome approval workflows, enforce confusing T&E policies, and spend hours manually entering data into their accounting system.
Most employees are inherently honest. They realize that the risk of imperiling their career over a couple of hundred more dollars in their pocket isn’t worth it. However, a small section of employees don’t agree. What are the most common ways they try and defraud their employers, and how can they be prevented?
Worried that you may have missed out on some of our blog posts? Fear not - we've compiled a list of the 10 most-read blog posts in 2018. See what your peers thought were the most pressing topics of the year.
At Chrome River, we are interested in what’s next for the expense automation industry. To find out where our customers see the world of corporate expense management going, we asked them what their number one prediction is for expense management in 2019.
Cleveland, Ohio-based Dealer Tire manages replacement tire and parts programs for more than 20 automotive OEMs in the U.S. and China. In this guest blog post, Mary Hayat, Dealer Tire’s director of accounting, explains how the company lets business flow by building an integrated card and expense program.
Your organization’s travel and expense policy must ensure that it stays updated, to support the requirements of both the employer and also those who need to submit expense reports. With services such as Uber/Lyft and Airbnb now in the mainstream, is your policy keeping up?
Idaho State University (ISU) is a public research university in Pocatello, Idaho. Founded in 1901 as the Academy of Idaho, ISU now has 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students and more than 2,000 faculty and staff. In this guest blog post, Lisa Leyshon, assistant controller at ISU, explains how the university let business flow by automating expense policy compliance and speeding up the approval process, getting reimbursements back in travelers’ accounts much more quickly.
New research shows that expense automation technology is firmly in the mainstream, and the majority of organizations that have made the switch have adopted dedicated cloud-based expense automation software. If your organization hasn't yet made the leap, what are the main benefits that you are missing out on?
Latham & Watkins was founded in 1934 and is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious law firms. It has annual revenues of more than $3 billion, and has 2,500 attorneys. In this guest post, Neil Ackley, Latham & Watkins’ director of global accounting explains how he let business flow for the firm by upgrading its expense management solution to Chrome River.
Change is a constant in the business world. New business units. International growth. Acquisitions. For an organization's software solutions to keep up, it needs to be flexible and robust enough to adapt as a company evolves. When choosing an expense management solution, how can organizations ensure that it will be able to adapt to the changing tides?
Navigating change is critical to the successful adoption of a new software solution. However many organizations stumble as they attempt to reap the benefits of a new solution because they get stuck during the changeover to a new offering. Here's how Chrome River enables our customers to avoid this.
One of the biggest benefits that an expense management solution can deliver is automated enforcement of an organization's expense policy and approval processes. However, not all expense solutions have the capability or flexibility to support the requirements of complex global organizations.
Nixon Peabody, LLP is a Global 100 law firm with more than 700 attorneys across the U.S., Europe and Asia. In this guest post, Karen Keegan, Nixon Peabody’s assistant controller, discusses how to the firm let business flow by effectively managing technology change.
Chrome River announces the launch of Autobot - an intelligent automation solution which enables organizations to create custom workflows that streamline repetitive manual tasks.
Spokane, Washington-based liberal arts college, Whitworth University, chose Chrome River to streamline expense management for its traveling faculty and staff. Carolina León, Business Analyst, Finance and Administration at Whitworth University explains how the university lets business flow with a smooth implementation and an agile approach to providing the best solution for its team.
What are the innovations that global organizations can expect to see in expense management technology in the coming months and years? Learn from experts at analyst firm IDC and Chrome River what to look out for.
Chrome River is excited to announce a new relationship with Yatra, India's leading online business travel company. What does this mean for Chrome River, and Indian business travelers?
Tired of having to enter line after line of expense items for a simple overnight hotel stay? You're not alone... and you need not suffer any further, says Karen DeLucia.
Every company has unique requirements for its expense management solution, be it industry-specific regulations that need to be followed or complex business rules for approval routing. However, few organizations have as specific and complex needs for their expense management system as those with a significant global presence.
There are countless nuances of international business regulations that organizations need to follow. In particular, how can companies ensure that they stay compliant with global statutory requirements for expense reimbursement?
Chrome River and SpotHero have teamed up offer an even easier way for business travelers to find, purchase, and expense parking spaces.
There are two approaches to deploying business apps to employees: native apps and web apps. For both approaches, the end-user experience is – at least at first glance – outwardly very similar. However, that’s where the similarity ends, and the inherent weaknesses of native apps soon become apparent.
Product capabilities and functionality are almost top of any company’s list of priorities when assessing software solutions. However, any organization that’s looking to deploy a software solution across the enterprise needs to understand that the relationship with the solution provider can be just as critical for long-term success as the product itself.
We’re delighted to have been listed by respected technology analyst firm IDC as a “Leader” in its Travel and Expense MarketScape, validating our position in the global expense management industry.
One of the largest groups that travels on business is the trucking and transportation industry. With all of the stressors placed on long-haul drivers, what can fleet operators do to make the expense submission and reimbursement process as smooth as possible?
We're seeing a paradigm shift in the world of expense management, from a focus on control and compliance to spend optimization. CEO Alan Rich discusses where T&E spend analysis is heading.
Chrome River's CEO, Alan Rich, starts the year by looking at some of the macro trends which will impact the world of expense management not just in 2018, but for years to come.
Expenses such as holiday gifts for customers can help provide valuable data for measuring sales, but only if companies have the tools to analyze it. How can organizations make better use of this - and other sales team travel and expense data - to better plan for the future?
How can organizations avoid being bamboozled by false information in the marketplace? It's critical to ensure that you get input from all sides and don't make inaccurate assumptions.
How can organizations ensure that their software investments bear fruit for years into the future? They need to be sure that as they evolve and grow with the market and the economy, the software solutions that are used to support them can accommodate these changes.
The sales team is typically the division within an organization that has the greatest travel and entertainment expense budgets. They travel the most and spend the most on entertainment for prospects, suppliers or current customers. However, and perhaps most importantly, the sales team also is the greatest contributor to top-line revenue. How can companies ensure that best performers remain engaged and drive revenue, while effectively controlling costs?
Of all the innovations that have made receipt submission a painless part of expense management, the ability to capture receipt images on a mobile phone and upload them directly into the expense solution is one of the greatest. But how do different OCR offerings add up?
Chrome River adds to its global expense management capabilities with yet more languages, so even more of our users in over 115 countries worldwide can now submit their expenses in their native language.
Corporate travel expense policies are created for a reason: to provide clear guidelines for travelers, which saves the organization money by minimizing excessive or wasteful spend. As with all regulations, these policies are only effective if they’re adhered to. To achieve this, organizations need to make it easy for them to be followed and hard for them to be sidestepped.
The end of the traditional corporate card era is looming. The way that organizations source, pay for, and reimburse business travel has changed more in the past five years than the previous several decades combined.
Any investment that a company makes in a new product or solution can only deliver its intended benefits if it's used - and embraced - across the organization. While reluctant employees can avoid having to use some software solutions, when it comes to tools such as expense reporting, there isn’t really an option to sidestep it. However, this doesn’t mean that an optimal user experience needs to be an afterthought in the software review process.
How often does your organization's expense policy get updated, and how does it address innovations in travel and travel technology? In order to keep your employees satisfied, you should ensure that your policy stays abreast of emerging travel trends.
The construction industry is more exposed to economic ebbs and flows than almost any other sector of the economy. As a result of this position, construction companies must ensure that they carefully maintain cash flow and cost control, even during boom periods. How can employee expense automation solutions help this?
While there's no denying that automating end-user processes and enabling hassle-free mobile submission of expense reports provides major ease-of-use and time-saving benefits for business travelers, the ROI that these benefits deliver is often dwarfed by the impact that expense automation has on the finance function.
Chrome River and Lyft are making it even easier for business travelers to create expense reports.
Creating and Enforcing Expense Policies: The Happy Medium for Cost Control and Employee Satisfaction
Corporate travel and expense policies have long been a hot-button issue for HR departments. On one side are traveling employees, who want to be able to choose the airlines and hotel chains where they have high status, or select flights and lodgings that are more convenient for them. On the other side are CFOs and corporate controllers, whose primary focus is to manage costs and minimize unnecessary spend. While these may seem like two groups that will never find common ground, a combination of reasonable policies, intelligent enforcement, and smart technology tools can keep all parties happy.
Forty-six percent of respondents to a recent survey said they still submit their expenses manually - stuffing their pockets, wallets and briefcases with wrinkled receipts. These bunched up pieces of paper then get stapled to printed spreadsheets that must be typed up, listing every detail of every item, and then mailed to accounting departments. In an era where the majority of business functions have been automated, expenses are one of the few areas that still involve an excessive amount of manual processing.
Any opportunity for manufacturers to lower manufacturers' operating expenses is welcomed by the CFO, whether this is hedging against commodity price increases and exchange rate fluctuations, or identifying opportunities for cost reductions within the supply chain. But what about reducing the cost of back-office processes?
It’s estimated that expense fraud committed by employees adds up to nearly $3 billion per year across North America. How can HR teams prevent this from happening at their organization?
If your CFO or controller asked you to provide the organization’s total travel spend over the past year, how would you get that data? The obvious (and traditional) answer is to ask for reports from your travel agency, breaking down hotel, flight and rental car costs. That should give you a pretty accurate figure, right? Well – not really.
For mid-size and large companies, best-of-breed travel and expense or all-in-on isn’t the only decision to be made when it comes to expense software. Many ERP providers also offer expense management capabilities as part of their broader suite of financial and HR tools. How do you decide which works best for you?
Gartner has just released its 2017 Market Guide for Travel Expense Management (TEM) Software. The guide is essential reading for any organization that’s thinking of investing in an expense management solution in the coming year, or is considering upgrading its existing solution.
Expense management systems must provide several receipt submission formats, to match the different types of receipt format in use, as well as users’ own preferences. What types of receipt submission should your expense solution be able to support, to cater to the full spectrum of your organization’s users and their travel profiles?
Any expense management solution worth its salt these days will tout its mobile capabilities. Most of these solutions will highlight their iPhone or Android apps as a key selling point. However, for the both hard-pressed business traveler and the company for whom they work, apps aren’t always the best solution.
Combining expense reimbursement with the payroll slows your process to a crawl, making your employees wait weeks for payment. Decouple the two and see how much happier you make employees AND finance.
Organizations who are looking for a full-featured, enterprise-grade expense management solution often find that the choice comes down to Chrome River and Concur. Once the shortlist has been created, how can finance, IT and procurement teams work out which solution works best for their team?
Your road warriors are complaining about your expense system having a clunky old interface that looks more like Frogger than Facebook. Your system administrators say that the level of customer service could put Basil Fawlty to shame. Your AP team tells you that the vendors’ invoices have more unexpected charges than a hospital bill. It’s time. Time to start looking for a new expense management system.
There has been a lot of discussion in the business software market about the benefits of browser-based, responsive web (RWD) apps versus native Android and iOS apps. Even though there is evidence showing that more and more organizations are moving toward RWD for mobile software deployment, the debate continues as to which is better, just like Mac vs. Windows, Peyton vs. Tom and Pepsi vs. Coke.
Corporate card programs may make corporate spend better managed and even easier for the card holder, but they still leave a number of hassles for both cardholders and administrators when it comes to expense reports.
Unlike commercial organizations, whose expenses are funded by operating budgets, higher education institutions’ faculty and research members’ travel and expenses are often funded by grants and scholarships. These funding sources often have a variety of different requirements for how they can be used, and therefore require specific reporting regulations for expenses.
The worst thing about most New Year's resolutions is that they're so easy to break. To make your expense management easier in 2017, here's a list of things that you should not do, along some a couple of one-and-done fixes that will benefit you throughout the year.
While a streamlined expense management system can make life easier for your business travelers and travel managers, it can also do amazing things for your finance and accounting departments. Not every expense management system will have the power to perk up accounting and finance, however. You need a platform that can integrate into the finance and accounting systems your departments already know and use.
Expense fraud can happen at even the best-run organizations, but your company can definitely arm itself with the tools and processes to rein it in.
When selecting travel booking and expense solutions, organisations have two choices: a single vendor for both elements, or individual vendors for each. All parties will say that their solution works best, but which will work most effectively for you? Here are five questions you should ask yourself.
As with all good business tools, an expense management system should make everyone’s job a lot easier. However, you need to ensure that you select a solution that works for your organization's requirements.
With expenses that can range from a handful of photocopies to overseas travel, grant and research project budgets can be tough to track. Paper-based expense management systems are a headache for both your researchers and administrators. And one-size-fits-all expense software doesn’t have the specific capabilities your university needs to accurately manage the myriad of grant and research nuances.
Volunteers can offer an incredibly valuable resource for non-profit and non-governmental organizations, and other non-employees, such as scholarship and grant recipients, are a key part of many of these organizations. However, properly tracking and recording any out-of-pocket expenses they incur can be a major headache. Organizations typically have two options for handling expenses accrued by volunteers and non-employees. One involves a time-consuming, tedious process, while the other offers a quick and easy resolution.
Although being the closer must be one of the most stressful roles on a baseball team, being the travel manager is certainly up there as well. Coordinating 80+ days of travel across the country over 6+ months, for dozens of playing and coaching staff, has the potential to deliver huge headaches. And that's even before the playoffs start. How does it all work?
Creating and submitting your expenses while on a business trip need not be a drain on productivity. What are the biggest challenges your users face with their expenses on the road, and how can these be resolved?
Nearly half of all organizations are still stuck using manual expense reporting systems. If you continue to use paper-based processes instead of an expense automation solution, the risks could easily outweigh any perceived benefits.
Fifty-four percent of respondents to the recent GBTA / American Express Traveler Sentiment Survey said that they submit their expenses electronically. While the adoption of expense report automation solutions is at a record level, it still highlights that nearly half of all business travelers are forced to stuff their pockets, wallets and briefcases with receipts, which they then have to staple to sheets of paper and mail to accounting departments, along with a printed spreadsheet that needs to be typed up with every detail of every item.
You may possibly have noticed that there’s an election taking place in a couple of months. One of the time-honored tactics used by politicians from all sides is to throw out facts or statistics about your opponent, which may or may not have any basis in fact.
The Global Business Travel Association recently announced the results of its Business Traveler Sentiment Index Global Report. The report assesses the overall happiness with several aspects of travelers’ overall experience, from making travel arrangements through to getting through airport security and taking various forms of ground and air transport.
Unless you live in a cave or have just woken up from a months-long coma, you’ll have noticed that the Olympics are in full swing. However, in addition to marveling at the athletes' exploits (go Team GB!), seeing participants from more than 200 countries and territories competing made my mind spin in terms of the sheer logistics when it comes to the expenses that each team must incur, and how these will all get reimbursed into the currencies used across those nations once everyone returns next week
If you went to last week’s GBTA Conference, you probably came back with a fresh perspective, having seen the latest and greatest trends and innovations in the business travel industry. With these still fresh in your mind, now is a good time to revisit how travel and expense policies are managed at your own organization.
As you may have noticed from today’s announcement made at the GBTA national conference, we are proud to become a Premier Provider of expense reporting for Sabre, one of the world’s biggest travel technology providers. This comes just a couple of weeks after we announced Sabre as the latest travel industry leader to adopt our expense management solution for its own 10,000 global employees.
As you may have seen from today’s press release, we’ve just announced an exciting new relationship with Traxo for hotel receipt integration. This will give Chrome River EXPENSE users an even better (and easier) experience when preparing their expense reports, and we’re sure it will be very well received by anyone who’s ever had to manually import or allocate hotel receipt data into their expense report.
We’re getting towards the end of the second quarter, which means that public companies will soon be doing their earnings calls and press releases. If you’ve ever read these, you’ll see that they’re full of jargon and code-words. One of these is “expense management,” which is often code for “cost-cutting,” which in turn often means “job cuts.”
If you are a global organization looking to upgrade your expense management solution, there is a dizzying array of offerings on the market. Many of the vendors you speak to will tell you that they offer a global solution. However, there’s being able to process the occasional foreign hotel and restaurant bill, and then there’s a true global solution that will work for thousands of end users across dozens of different countries, supporting complex workflows, tax requirements and regional standards.
When you’re looking at new expense management software, or looking to replace your existing system, every vendor will be more than happy to highlight the key selling points of their solution. “Look at this feature!” “See how we can make your life easier.” While shiny features are certainly great, they don’t always tell the full story, and sometimes you should be more focused on what the sales people don’t say. If you want to get the skinny on which solution will best match your organization’s needs, you need to delve a little deeper and get beyond the sales pitch.
It’s not too long ago that the panacea to everyone’s expense problems was “get expense management automation software.” Anything was a quantum leap from having to staple or tape your receipts to a spreadsheet, then hand it into your accounting team, and then wait a pay cycle (or two) for them to be reviewed, and then go up the approval chain, and then finally to the payroll team who would often cut you a paper check... that you often had to take to the bank or ATM to deposit.
Those of you with a keen knowledge of Roman mythology will know Mercury was the god of financial gain, and travelers (among other things). This is really quite fitting given that today we unveil Chrome River MERCURY, which delivers a completely new experience in corporate expense management, making your travel smoother, and speeding up your expense processing.
As organizations continue to implement technology designed to streamline their Purchase-to-Pay (P2P) processes, a number of trends and concerns keep surfacing. Both were discussed in a recent webinar hosted by PayStream’s Henry Ijams and featuring Greg Horton of OpenText.
Your corporate travelers are the face of your company, representing you far and wide. But when you fail to reimburse them in a timely, fair and efficient manner, you could be paying a high price indeed.
When it comes to travel expenses, the big consideration is not necessarily about spending more or less – it’s about spending differently. But changing spending habits to ensure companies are efficiently meeting their goals may be easier said than done, according to a CFO Research and SAP study. The study collected info from 173 finance executives at midsize and large firms across Europe and North America.
Travel and expense management has largely become a balancing act, with CFOs walking a precarious tightrope between employee satisfaction and controlling the budget. Companies are pushing for higher efficiencies while business travelers are prompted to pay acute attention to costs, without sacrificing compliance and beneficial company outcomes.
With more than 65,000 travel apps and 32,000 finance apps available through major online app shops, there is no doubt technology is exploding in the finance and travel industries. There is also no doubt that use of new technologies will inevitably lead to a bit of trial and error. To truly land on technology that works, companies may need to experience a few duds until they land on a keeper.
One of the easiest ways to boost efficiency and compliance for traveling employees is with travel and expense management software. But all travel and expense management software is not created equal, nor are every company’s needs exactly the same.
Chrome River is excited to attend VANTAGE 2015 again this year. We have several opportunities to get together with you. Many of you already use Chrome River EXPENSE. We invite you to join our "APAutomation" speaking session on Thursday, June 18 from 2:15 - 3:15 to learn more about Chrome River INVOICE. Also, stop by booth #13 in the Exhibit Hall to say hi!
Your employees may be taking care of all kinds of business while they’re away on company trips, and some of it may be pretty unsavory. These revelations came from a survey from On Call International that reviewed risky behaviors of corporate travelers. Two of the most common behaviors were binge drinking and picking up strangers in bars, activities indulged in by 27 percent and 11 percent of business travelers, respectively.
In his heyday, you may remember L. Dennis Kozlowski as “Deal-a-Day Dennis,” one of the highest-paid CEOs in the country who helped build the New England manufacturing firm of Tyco into a multinational giant. That was before his conviction.
Although you may not see an online “Pay by Bitcoin” button as a choice when booking your next flight, a number of airlines will have the option of accepting the digital currency from travelers. The Economist reports the Universal Air Travel Plan, an airline payment network commonly known as UATP, has joined the Bitcoin processing platform of Bitnet.
You know that old joke about the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing? Well, no one was laughing when that very phenomenon occurred with San Diego’s municipal purchasing, according to the Times of San Diego, leaving the door open for loads of potential fraud.
Travel expenses can be pretty high to begin with, making the idea of luxury hotel stays for employees seem ludicrous. But that added bit of luxury can go a long way toward offsetting the bustle, headaches and hassle of corporate travel. Buying Business Travel says investing in the well-being of your regular business travelers can pay off handsomely.
Travel-related websites have been hit hard with data breaches over the past few months, with hackers infiltrating more than 20 sites. Two of them were United Airlines and American Airlines, TechWorld reports, and it’s not necessarily your personal information the hackers are after. These guys want your miles.
A little padding of the corporate expense account can add up to a lot of lost cash, as evidenced by a report from Oversight Systems. The report found companies lost nearly $14 million due to fraudulent expenses filed in 2014 – and that was a loss calculated over only a 90-day period. Do the math to estimate losses from expense fraud over the entire year, and annual losses climb to more than $50 million.
Big data is already changing the ways companies engage in sales, marketing and operations. And its impact is not expected to stop there. Tradeshift CEO Christian Lanng predicts big data’s next big move is into the fields of finance and procurement, with a massive shift into the world of e-invoicing.
Not the same thing you would wear when traveling with your boss—that’s for sure! So, is there actually such a thing as etiquette when traveling with your boss— and guidelines on what to wear? Indeed! One man taking his first ever business trip found out the hard way. Here are some tips to follow that will keep you in the comfort zone and make you shine like the professional that you are when traveling with the Big Kahuna!
Implementing virtual card accounts in your corporate travel process can offer better travel data collection, prevent fraud, and improve your existing expense management processes. In the world of corporate travel and expense management, it’s the next big thing.
There are plenty of news items about corporate fraud involving supplier kickbacks and dishonest expense report schemes. Most of the examples are concerning because of the depravity, but some are rather funny.
Pot, weed, mary jane, cannabis, edibles – or as they call it today – “medical marijuana,” doesn’t seem like a likely item to turn into your boss on a expense report, does it? But, that’s exactly what a TV reporter from KPIX, a San Francisco CBS affiliate, did when he submitted $600 worth of expenses for all kinds of “high-quality medical marijuana.” Interesting expenses, right? If you were the reporter’s boss, would you approve these expenses? Well, turns out, the expenses were actually legitimate.
We tend to assume that technology will help speed up whatever we’re doing, right? We can share photos with our families and friends in seconds rather than days, shift money from one account to another without stepping inside a bank, and so on. But sometimes the reverse is true of technology—think of how painful it can be to navigate through a complicated voicemail system.
A 2014 study by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners found that upper management accounts for close to 30% of reimbursement fraud cases. It doesn’t take a Harvard MBA to know that behaviors (good or bad) that are exhibited by top managers will eventually be modeled by employees. Couple poor behaviors by executives with lax expense reporting procedures and you have a recipe for systemic expense fraud in your organization. Whether you’re currently dealing with this situation or seeking preventative expense controls, you can take steps now that will help crush expense report fraud in 2015.
Money, money, money! Where does it go? Keeping track of expenses can be a challenge, and it's vitally important for any organization to keep a close eye on the outflow of funds. However, training staff to track expenses can be tricky, especially when it's done manually. When your expenses aren't tracked properly, it costs your organization time and money. Using expense management software can make your staff feel much more financially savvy and will help control your expenses.
Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care.
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic.