According to a new analysis published today by Concur, the leading provider of spend management solutions and services, the third Monday of December has consistently been the busiest expense (claims) day of the year.

The analysis named December 16 as the busiest day for expense claims in 2013, based on data from the 23,000 companies and 27 million users in 150 countries using Concur. Accountants and finance departments worldwide can expect an unusually large volume in expense transactions starting Monday, December 15.

“Knowing what lies ahead is the first step to streamlining expense processes,” said Neil Charney, vice president for Concur, in a statement. “Our data shows this is a critical time of the year for employees to tackle the back-log of expenses and there [are] an increasing number of users taking advantage of mobile tools and services to submit their reports. For those who’ve replaced ineffective and manual methods with automated solutions, reports can be created and approved in time for the holidays and before the end of the quarter.”

The most recent analysis reveals key trends in expensing, namely how web and mobile technologies are shaping the way businesses manage expenses. Highlights include:  

  • Businesses are making big “digital” strides: Increasingly, businesses are adopting web and mobile technologies to manage their expenses, according to the report. In 2013, the daily averages for web-submitted and mobile-submitted expense reports hit a record-high - At its peak on December 16, overall submitted reports saw a 221 percent increase from the daily average since the previous year.
  • Mobility is the future: Two-thirds of Americans now have smartphones and more time is currently spent on mobile apps than on the web. The mobile shift has given business users a preference for converting paper receipts into digital records. Photo capture is the Concur mobile app’s most popular feature - On December 16 last year, Concur mobile users uploaded over half a million receipts, registering a 259 percent increase over the daily average.
  • Apple products are preferred: Apple’s mobile operating system continues to lead as the platform of choice for U.S. businesses. Overall, 88 percent of mobile customers used iOS-powered devices, while just 11 percent used Android.
  • Most expensed items: Lodging and airfare were the most commonly expensed items on December 16, 2013, accounting for more than $110 million. Meal and phone expenses rounded out the top four.
  • Top expensing industries (via mobile): Four business industries accounted for more than 37 percent of all mobile expenses submitted in 2013:
  • Healthcare – 10.8 percent
  • Pharmaceutical –10.3 percent
  • Retail – 8.8 percent
  • Industrial Manufacturing – 7.7 percent

Check out Concur's year-end infographic below: