Business expense trends are changing

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The most popular business expenses are ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, according to a new report.

The report, from the expense management software company Expensify, analyzed emerging trends and patterns in business spending. Combined, the rival services made up a total of 93 percent of all expensed business rides last years. Riders in the U.S. tended to choose Uber five times more often than Lyft, but in Southeast Asia, a competing service known as Grab showed more than 200 percent growth in the past year, making it the third most frequently expensed rideshare service.

The report also looked at business expense patterns in other areas, such as advertising, software, printing, bikeshares and food delivery. The four fastest-growing business expense categories are advertising, software, printing, scooters and bikeshares. Advertising took the first spot, with an average growth rate of more than 250 percent across the three most popular online services: Google, Facebook and Twitter.

Businesses also still investing heavily in software, with spending on technologies such as Twilio, Asana, Slack, Zoom and SendGrid growing by an average of more than 180 percent over the past year. Business spending on print materials has also jumped, with business card providers Moo and Vistaprint growing 344 percent and 90 percent, respectively, in the past year.

Spending on employee commuting has been changing, with the scooter and bikeshare services Scoot and Lime winning the race over other two-wheeled transit apps.

Expensify’s Spend Trends report also looked at business expenses for meal and grocery delivery services. Business spending on meal delivery services such as Caviar, DoorDash, Grubhub and Deliveroo surged an average of 150 percent in the past year. Thanks largely to Instacart’s 450 percent growth, grocery delivery also increased significantly in 2018.

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Expense management Expense management software Expensify Uber Lyft