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.

A study by the Aberdeen Group, a Boston-based information technology research firm, found visibility into T&E spending was cited as the top challenge by 51% of companies.

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Susan Kelly

Susan Kelly is a business journalist who has written for Treasury & Risk, FierceCFO, Global Finance, Financial Week, Bridge News and The Bond Buyer.