A recent Forrester survey found that 69 percent of surveyed mid- to large-sized businesses view cloud-based expense management software as beneficial to cost reduction, believing such products could help reduce expenses by 20 percent or more, though few are using them.

The research found that only 50 percent of those surveyed are using any type of metrics, such as the accuracy and timeliness of expense filing and compliance with corporate expense policy, to measure elements of their expense management process. In addition, 37 percent of surveyed businesses currently use their ERP system to manage expenses, while 24 percent use spreadsheets, 16 percent use homegrown systems, and only eight percent use cloud expense management software.

Survey respondents also cited include poor integration between their expense management system and other business apps, poor data quality due to manual entry reducing reporting capabilities, and the inability to gain insight into and take advantage of expense management trends as their top issues.

In January 2013, American Express commissioned Forrester to evaluate the expectations that midmarket firms (those with 100 to 999 employees) and enterprises (those with 1,000 or more employees) have for their expense management software. Forrester also investigated the issues these businesses are currently struggling with and their interest level in adopting cloud expense management software combined with a corporate card program.

Forrester surveyed 216 decision-makers around the world with responsibility for expense management and conducted in-depth follow-up interviews with several executives.