Companies still struggle to control and cost-optimize employee travel and expense spending, according to a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of spend management solutions provider Concur.

The study, “The Power of Real-Time Insight,” evaluated research based on 348 financial decision-makers worldwide to examine how better visibility, data analytics and reporting can help companies’ T&E spend.

According to the research, T&E is the second most difficult financial line item for companies to control, with most companies waiting for employees to manually enter their data after the expenditure is made, meaning any trend analysis and cost-optimization is primarily completed through spreadsheets.

Other findings from the Forrester study:

  • 80 percent of firms rely on T&E data entered manually after the event, even when the organization uses an automated system, giving no real-time insight into the data.
  • 42 percent of the firms were not able to import any data from disparate sources, including external systems.
  • The majority of firms do not have the capability to process invoices such as hotel bills and rental car charges automatically.
  • 60 percent of the respondents said access to information via mobile devices is too limited and there’s opportunity for immediate access to business insights.
  • When asked what capabilities their current T&E analytics tool lacks when it comes to providing business insight and informed decision-making, 43 percent of respondents said the ability to easily create and modify reports.

“We believe the Forrester 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 behavior, placing companies at a disadvantage when it comes to understanding their corporate spend,” stated Robson Grieve, executive vice president for Concur. “Our mission is to develop an automated, mobile-first solution that enables employees to populate their expenses in real-time, allowing companies to have real-time insight into the data to optimize spend.”
For more information and to download the full study, visit here.

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