Learning From T&E: Coupa, Xpenser, and Expense Submission Serendipity

Stand-alone Travel and Expense (T&E) – minus travel booking – is a somewhat quirky stepchild in the world of corporate spend buying, tracking, and compliance. In general, the experience of T&E tools has improved dramatically for typical frontline users in the past decade. Anyone who was forced to use an earlier version of Concur, Ariba, or others in the earlier procurement days will testify to the fact the applications were disenchanting (to put it mildly) for users – they made compliance time-consuming. The tools were as onerous, mean, and cumbersome as the surly folks behind the procurement scenes tasked with T&E policy and approvals. Both were, well, mean.

Fortunately a lot has changed, including vast improvements in the usability and experience – for large and small businesses alike – for Concur and others. Moreover, several smaller upstarts have entered the T&E market, providing a range of choice for users of all sizes. For less than ten or twenty bucks a month per employee using the tool, organizations have access to tools that previously cost hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) to roll-out and support.

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