The average organization spends a surprising amount on business travel and other employee reimbursable expenses — 8 percent to 12 percent of its annual budget, according to research by the Aberdeen Group. According to an article on the FOX Business website, a new report on global business travel predicts sharp increases in travel spending over the next two years. More than ever, organizations need a travel expense management solution to keep these costs under control.

This year, employees are expected to increase travel spending by 5.4 percent, according to predictions by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). FOX Business reports that the travel industry’s top five markets are:

  1. The United States ($262 billion in 2012)
  2. China ($196 billion and poised to overtake the US)
  3. Japan ($65.3 billion, down slightly over the previous year)
  4. Germany ($50.5 billion, with modest gains)
  5. The United Kingdom ($40.2 billion, relatively flat growth)

In 2014, the GBTA predicts industry-wide growth of 8.2 percent, with larger roles played by such countries as China, India and Brazil. These predictions should remind organizations of the need to limit and monitor travel costs using automated travel expense management.

An automated expense policy uses software to monitor and enforce an organization’s travel spending rules, and it offers several opportunities for savings. By providing greater transparency into expense claims, for example, managers can improve compliance with company policy. They can also identify opportunities for more streamlined procedures and more cost-effective vendor relationships. These efforts carry solid financial benefits.

For organizations that currently process expense claims manually, switching to an automated system offers savings almost immediately. A fully manual process costs $21.31, on average, to process each expense report, while an automated system can cut that cost down to $8.50.

With the GBTA predicting sharp increases in travel spending over the next two years, now is the time to control these costs by implementing a travel expense management system.

We appreciate your feedback. How has your organization lowered travel expense spending? Share your ideas in the comments section below!

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