Keep It Simple: Study Finds More-Efficient T&E Reporting Means Less-Confused Business Travelers
Trends reveal an apparent disconnect between adoption of mobile technology for communication and its use for business expense reporting
Orlando, Fla. (June 5, 2012) — Less confusion and overall cost savings are among the top expense management goals of organizations with frequent business travelers, according to a study released this month.
The 2012 Trends in T&E Expense Management study, sponsored by The Institute of Financial Operations and InterplX Expense Management, finds “ease of use” as the most important factor in choosing travel and entertainment expense management solutions. Yet even with the proliferation of smartphones and tablet technology among business travelers, only a small percentage of business professionals are using them for expense reporting.
The study results, released earlier this month at The Institute’s Fusion 2012 conference in Nashville, Tenn., reveals a willingness among organizations to closely monitor travel and entertainment expenses in order to improve efficiency.
“Smartphones and tablets have changed the dynamics of how businesses and people stay connected,” says Jo LaBorde, executive director of The Institute. “But despite the increasing popularity of mobile technology, the majority of companies still rely on paper as the top way employees submit receipts and related documentation on travel and expense requests. Aligning technology use with expense reporting processes provides an opportunity for companies to increase efficiency and ease of use.” Nearly half (44.4 percent) of all organizational budgets represented in the annual T&E survey are less than $1 million, and more than half (58.1 percent) report fewer than 500 employees submitting expense reports.
Other key findings in the 2012 Trends in T&E Expense Management Study include:
- More than half (51.5 percent) of respondents indicate their company process offers an online booking tool for employee use.
- Nearly half (49.5 percent) of respondents indicate their companies use a corporate travel agency as the primary type of travel management organization for employees.
- Among companies that use travel and entertainment expense reporting solutions, paper-based systems (29.8 percent) are the most popular. Concur (18.1 percent) and InterplX (17 percent) are used by more than one-third of survey respondents in this group.
“Creating greater efficiency and effectiveness with T&E policies and procedures is always the goal,” said Chuck Buckner, president and CEO for InterplX Expense Management. “Based on the survey results, AP professionals should be encouraged by the cost savings and convenience for the entire organization that can be made by streamlining travel and entertainment policy through the integration of technology — both ERP and mobile. The companies we’ve seen shift have benefited tremendously.”
A full copy of the 2012 Trends in T&E Expense Management Study may be found at www.financialops.org/research.
About The Institute of Financial Operations:
The Institute of Financial Operations is a membership association comprising four affiliates: International Accounts Payable Professionals (IAPP), International Accounts Receivable Professionals (IARP), the National Association of Purchasing & Payables (NAPP), and The Association for Work Process Improvement (TAWPI). Based in Orlando, Fla., with offices in Boston and London, The Institute serves as a global voice, chief advocate, recognized authority, acknowledged leader, and principal educator for people in financial operations, with a particular focus on accounts payable, accounts receivable, procure-to-pay, information management and data capture. Combined, the affiliates have 5,000 members. For more information, visit www.financialops.org.
About InterplX Expense Management:
InterplX is a leading travel and entertainment (T&E) and purchase card (P-card) expense management solutions provider to both large and small companies. InterplX prides itself in the strong client relationships it maintains across a broad cross-section of clients including more than a dozen in the Fortune 1000 as well as several in the Global 2000. InterplX strives to ensure that its entire client base is delighted with the value and quality of service the company delivers every day.