Finding comprehensive, easy-to-use pricing data to benchmark one company's travel and entertainment (T&E) expenditures against others is no easy task. But a new offering, Concur Benchmarking Service, is taking the process of comparing global spending trends to a whole new level.

Developed jointly by corporate expense management experts Concur Technologies Inc. and consulting and benchmarking group Runzheimer International, Concur Benchmarking Service is designed as an add-on to Concur's existing core expense software and Web-based service. The core management system lets companies create expense reports, automatically import credit card transactions and analyze trends in employee spending, as well as set spending limits. By adding on the benchmarking service, a company gets instant access to pricing data for 200 U.S. destinations and 100 international locations–for everything from airfares and hotels to car rentals, meals and per-diem rates.

One of its handiest features is pricing data for 500 domestic and 100 international city-to-city air routes. The airfare information is updated every two weeks and is broken down by class of service and advance purchase status. "Our clients have been very interested in getting more value out of the data they have built up in their own expense reporting systems," says Fred Ingham, Concur's vice president of product management. "They want to use this information to establish travel policies and audit rules and maximize the effectiveness of their controls." With the benchmarking features, an expense manager can gain a new level of control when it comes to budgeting and planning, offering new opportunities to trim costs.

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