Contributing Author – Henry Ijams, Managing Director, PayStream Advisors, Inc.
Did you know that travel is one of the largest expenditures for companies? That makes it one of the largest opportunities for savings. Every business trip starts with planning and booking and ends once all business travel expenses are reimbursed. Everything that happens between planning and reimbursement presents an opportunity for companies to enforce compliance of travel and expense policies in order to maximize savings.
Travel and Expense Management (TEM) solutions work to streamline the entire process, providing an end-to-end solution—from pre-trip approval and online booking to travel expense receipt capture and expense reimbursements — while ensuring strict adherence to corporate travel compliance.
PayStream’s 2013 Travel and Expense Management Benchmark report reveals that the use of TEM solutions continues to increase. Thirty-six percent of survey respondents report that their travel and expense (T&E) process is fully automated and is a single/integrated system, up 4 percent from 2012. Nearly 60 percent of survey respondents report an increase in T&E spending over the past three years. This accounts for the increase in the number of expense reports that an organization processes per month. PayStream analysts attribute the increase in T&E spending and the increase in expense reports to the increase in the number of companies planning to implement an automated solution within the next six months.
More companies are exploring integrated travel and expense report software to make booking a business trip and completing an expense report a seamless operation for their employees, while ensuring that employees book travel with preferred vendors and abide by company policies.
The key to reining in travel and expense spending is controlling it at the start of the travel process and ensuring that employees are following travel policies. For example, through TEM solutions, employees will be unable to book a first-class flight if they are supposed to travel coach. Pre-trip approvals and the requirement of online booking help enforce corporate policy and maximize savings.
Download a complimentary copy of the Travel and Expense Management Benchmark report today to find out how your company can reduce T&E spending through automation. This report was underwritten in part by Chrome River and includes a detailed Chrome River solution profile and case study.
Henry Ijams (pronounced Iams) is the Managing Director and Founder of PayStream Advisors. As a former banker and payments technology entrepreneur, he is well known in the financial automation and payments industry and speaks frequently at conferences. Mr. Ijams has developed a leadership position in the financial industry through his research publications and articles on trends and strategies on the automation of back-office financial operations. He is widely quoted by such publications as Treasury & Risk Management, the AFP Journal,Document Management, Financial Times, CFO, and the American Banker.
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.