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Business travelers still shuffle paper when filing expenses

Posted: 17 July 2017
Topics: SavingsBlog

Picture a business traveler filing their expenses. Does it look like this: Find receipts, tape, staple, and scan? Let's face it; filing expense reports is a process people dread. Egencia has improved and accelerated the expensing experience for travelers, travel managers, and business by putting everything travelers need in one place. But there are still things that both travelers and travel managers can do to gain even more efficiency when it comes to filing expense reports.

How can business travelers improve the expensing experience?

According to the Egencia Business Travel and Technology Survey, 41 percent of global business travelers submit business travel expenses via paper forms. By comparison, 34 percent file via online expense sites, and 19 percent use mobile apps. On average, the global business traveler spends 22 minutes filing expenses for a three-day trip — twice as long as they want to spend. Despite the introduction of expense sites and apps, the user experience has not significantly changed. Most expense systems are developed with the intent to optimize accounting flows with a secondary focus on solving user needs. And while an overhaul won’t happen overnight, there are actions that both employers and employees can take to improve the experience and regain valuable time. Encouraging all travelers to use corporate credit cards will help businesses reduce the time (and headache) of pulling together scattered expenses. Currently, 33 percent of business travelers use personal cards exclusively.

How can businesses and traveler managers improve the expensing experience?

Traveler managers looking to simplify the submission process should also consider using an expense provider that allows travelers to sync their online/mobile solutions to their corporate or personal credit cards. Consolidating credit card transactions directly into an expense system with just a click creates a more seamless experience for travelers. Thirty-six percent of whom say that finding and gathering receipts is their least favorite part of submitting expenses. This solution is also easier on travel managers when reconciling company travel data. According to the Charlotte Business Journal[1], 25 percent of workers had committed errors or violations on their expense reports. As a result, auditors recommended linking a corporate card to an expense reporting program, among other technology upgrades.

An improved expensing experience with Egencia

Recognizing the need to give time back to travel managers and travelers, Egencia gives users everything they need for streamlined expense reporting in one place – that's travel bookings, credit card transactions, and expense management.

Another key component of the Egencia expense solution is the Egencia Open Connect Platform. The framework expands the market for expense providers by ensuring data exchanges between partners are successfully completed. The Egencia Open Connect Platform is rapidly growing with 29 partners to date, including Coupa, Expensify, Microsoft, and Mobile Expense.

[1]Erik Spanberg. "Audit: 25% of city workers tested had errors in expense reports", Charlotte Business Journal, 2017.

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