8 July 2014 | Anna Scott
Travel and expenses (T&E) are the second most difficult financial line item for companies to control, particularly because compliance and budgeting come after payments have been made, a survey has found.
Some 80 per cent of the nearly 350 senior finance professionals surveyed rely on T&E data that is entered manually after the expenditure has been made, even when the organisation uses an automated system. Maintenance and repairs was named the most complicated spend area to control.
As a result companies don’t have any real-time insight into the data, and gaining transparency and control over their T&E budget is difficult, according to the study which was conducted by Forrester on behalf of technology provider Concur.
Companies are also hampered by data integration, with 42 per cent of respondents saying they are unable to import any data from disparate sources, including external systems.
Respondents to the report, The Power of Real-Time Insight, expressed a desire for more access to information via mobile devices, and the ability to create and modify reports.
“The reality is that few companies implement real-time visibility into their T&E expenses, unless they have an T&E system with real-time integration with all their vendors and travel partners,” the study stated.
Robson Grieve, executive vice president for Concur, added: “We believe the research illustrates the high number of companies that are still dealing with the pain points of manual data entry and limited visibility into their employees' expense behaviour, placing companies at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding their corporate spend.”