International Accounts Payable Professionals (IAPP) has recently completed a travel expense management survey sponsored by InterplX Expense Management.
Below is the survey introduction written by InterplX President and CEO, Chuck Buckner:
“InterplX is pleased to provide sponsorship of the IAPP, IARP, and TAWPI survey on Trends in Travel and Entertainment Expense Management as part of our continuing commitment to common sense leadership in employee expense management.
The expense management space has undergone some significant changes over the past few years, including industry consolidation, reduced budgets, technological advances, and increased focus on compliance and reporting. This timely survey provides interesting data relative to what companies large and small are doing in this dynamic arena. I am sure you will find the attached analysis to be informative and helpful as you seek to establish improved internal processes and best practices in your own organization.
Impressions of note from the survey results, from our perspective, are that the expense management industry, at least in the midsize-to-large tier, is maturing. In the responses from companies with more than $1 billion in revenue, more than two-thirds of the companies have implemented an automated solution. In addition, the use of the corporate charge card has become a standard practice with more than three-quarters of all respondents providing a corporate card to their employees. And in the midsize-to-large tiers, more than 70 percent use an automated feed of card data into their automated expense system. Suffice to say, this is a clear industry best practice and the survey results support this.
What is also interesting in the results are the surprises. We hear a lot of hype about travel booking systems feeding the expense management system. Only 1.4 percent of respondents indicated that was an important factor in selecting their expense solutions. In fact, the most important factors in selecting an expense system are ease of use and integration with your ERP solution, followed by low cost and card integration. Because virtually all expense solutions integrate with your ERP and corporate card, ease of use and low cost are two key differentiators in determining your optimal solution.
As a long-term industry veteran, I am intrigued by the maturation and consolidation in the space. As we look forward, trends I expect to see evolving include: industry churn as contracts mature and companies seek alternative bids, the resulting reduction in fees and costs due to efficiencies and competition, a strong focus on end-user satisfaction and efficiency, and increased global focus. In addition, we may see an evolving mobile focus, but it remains to be seen whether that will be predominantly in mobile-enabled web-based systems or downloadable apps. I suspect the former as access to the Internet becomes more and more prevalent. And the concept of web-based systems is to reduce the need for local executable apps and the associated support and maintenance.
In closing, I’d like to thank the IAPP, IARP, and TAWPI for their continued leadership in the accounts payable profession. Our profession is under constant pressure to produce more, to leverage technology, and to integrate with other departments. IAPP, IARP, and TAWPI provide a constant network for AP professionals to seek support, information, and new ideas. InterplX has and will continue to be a supporting partner of the IAPP, IARP, and TAWPI and their important mission.”