From the September Special Report issue of Treasury & Risk magazine

Getting a Handle on T&E

Companies want better visibility into travel and entertainment spending so they can bargain with suppliers and check on compliance with travel policies.

Once upon a time, completing a business trip meant sitting down with a pile of receipts, filling out an expense report and doing some copying, and then submitting a pile of papers for approval. But travel and entertainment expense management solutions, which allow data from credit cards to flow automatically into online expense reports, have eliminated that drudgery for business travelers.

Now companies are making an effort to get what they need on the travel and entertainment (T&E) front: data they can analyze to get a better understanding of that spending and use to bargain for better deals with airlines, hotels, and other vendors.

Aberdeen’s study suggests that integrating the T&E expense management solution with a company’s ERP system can give the organization a better view of its T&E data. According to the study, companies with better visibility achieve other benefits, including cutting their costs for processing T&E expense reports: They spend just $12.51 to process each expense report, 39% less than the average cost of $20.65.

Greater visibility could also help companies figure out the return on investment they’re getting on their T&E spending, Berard said. “The largest problem that organizations have had is to understand their ROI.”

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