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Who’s Adopting T&E Management Software, and Who Isn’t? Breaking It Down by Industry and Revenue

01/25/2018 By

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If expensing that hotel stay or work lunch requires you to keep paper receipts, you are in good company. According to a report from PayStream Advisors, more than a third of employees file expenses either by mailing paper receipts to their AP department or through a combination of scanned receipts and spreadsheets.

Nearly two-thirds, however, report that their organizations use a dedicated expense software tool. And as companies move along in their digital transformations, the trend in travel and expense (T&E) management is certainly away from manual systems. A 2017 survey conducted by Certify found that the share of companies using a manual system decreased 4% from 2016.

Unsurprisingly, larger companies are less likely to use a manual process for T&E, and some industries are more likely than others to use T&E software. But PayStream Advisors found that revenue has the biggest effect on whether an organization opts for software.

Source: PayStream Advisors

As you can see from the chart above, the higher the company revenue, the higher the percentage of employees using an expense management software tool. For companies with revenues of under $30 million, filing expenses manually is the norm. But the opposite is true once you get to companies with revenues in the billions. These companies are likely to have more employees, more expenses and more resources to manage the expenses with software.

Things get more interesting when it comes to the reasons for which organizations decide to adopt expense reporting software. For companies of all revenues, manual data and inefficient processes provide the biggest incentive to invest in software. Lack of visibility into spend and increase in overall T&E spend are also top reasons.

Source: PayStream Advisors

Looking at industry-specific data, the healthcare industry is more likely to be aggravated by manual data entry than the manufacturing or finance industries. For the latter, the high costs of processing an expense report ranked top as a motivator to adopt expense reporting software.

But why fix what isn’t broken? T&E software is not superior to manual processes per se, and this is reflected by the fact that 36% of survey respondents who use manual processes said that they work just fine. This was especially true for the manufacturing and finance industries: 54% and 43%, respectively, said that their organizations have not adopted T&E reporting software because “current processes work.”

Another commonly cited reason against adoption was the belief that there would not be a return on investment. Budget issues, lack of executive support and lack of understanding of current available solutions in fact ranked low in reasons given for not adopting T&E reporting software.