The Travel Category

Travel to China Means Assessing the Risks — Supply and Personal

Trade isn't the only contentious issue has with China these days. Travel to the country comes with an advisory statement that was reissued last week by the U.S. State Department. The warning doesn’t suggest that travelers not go to China, just that they be aware of the risks and “exercise increased caution.” So since plenty of procurement and supply chain professionals must travel to China to ensure smooth operations for their companies, let’s look at recent coverage of the issue from riskmethods and MetalMiner.

T&E Benchmarks: How Does Your Company’s Technology Compare on Handling Travel & Expense Reporting?

Oversight Systems

Companies in the U.S. spend hundreds of billions of dollars annually on travel and entertainment — and a study from Certify Inc., an expense report software company, surveyed executives and finance leaders to get a snapshot of how many still use manual methods versus how many have upgraded their T&E management technology. In the study, officials note that travel and entertainment costs can be a significant part of companies’ budgets, which means efficiently managing employees’ expense reports can greatly affect a company’s profits. Since 2013, the “Expense Management Trends Report: Annual T&E Outlook and Benchmarks” by Certify has worked to help companies of various sizes recognize best practices to consider in travel and entertainment reporting and as methods to benchmark such companies’ current processes against their peers.

To Digitize T&E and Invoice Management, Companies Must Improve IT-Finance Alignment

Oversight Systems

The digitalization of manual processes is viewed as increasingly vital across functions, and travel and expense (T&E) management is no exception. According to a Forrester report commissioned by SAP Concur, the majority of companies face challenges linked to manual processes, from errors in expense reports to the time-consuming nature of dealing with paper documents. Surveying 378 IT and finance professionals involved with T&E and invoice management at their companies, Forrester found that only 13% are very satisfied with the T&E and invoice management processes that their companies are using.

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

Oversight Systems

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.

Coupa Opens New Middle-Market Front with P2P, T&E Packages on AWS Marketplace

BuyerQuest

Coupa is more aggressively targeting small and medium-sized businesses, using Amazon’s reach and infrastructure to sell its spend management solutions directly online. The San Mateo, California-based provider announced Monday its procure-to-pay (P2P) and expense management (T&E) solutions are now available on AWS Marketplace. Prospective users can now purchase, migrate and begin using Coupa’s spend management solutions directly from Amazon Web Services’ online software store, provided their company fits several criteria.

What Does The Age of Digitalization Mean for the Travel Services Buyer?

services sector

The role of today’s corporate travel manager or category manager is more demanding than ever. The manager must not only take responsibility for the travel budget, be a skilled negotiator, understand technology, leverage data and manage travel policies, contracts and compliance, but also deliver value to the organization. And of course, they must also keep the corporate traveller safe and be risk-aware. How can practitioners prepare to handle all of this and more?

Certify T&E Report: Business Travelers Go for Starbucks, Delta and Uber (But Lyft is Catching Up)

Oversight Systems

Travel and expenses management software provider Certify recently released its latest SpendSmart Report, analyzing business travel spending for Q3 2017. Lyft is experiencing impressive growth, while its ride-hailing rival Uber, as well as taxis and car rentals, are seeing declines. The data comes from 10 million business travel receipts and expenses that are processed via Certify’s system. Certify then analyzes the data by category, such as ground transportation, meals and lodging.

Easing the Pain of Hotel Booking and Travel Spend Management

services sector

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by Julian Kulkarni, vice president of marketing at Roomex.

The lodging offered by your preferred supplier is 20% cheaper and you have never had any reason to doubt the quality of its service. But a senior sales executive insists that you book lodging at a swanky hotel that’s closer to a key account – otherwise the hot deal he is negotiating might be at risk. Trouble is, the more expensive hotel may not comply with your strict T&E policy. You just don’t know and you are having trouble getting answers. So, what do you do? It’s a classic procurement manager’s dilemma. You’d like to be flexible and make an exception, but if you are not careful, an exception can become the norm, and costs (both direct and indirect) spiral out of control.

Highlights from Across the Pond at Coupa Inspire 2017: A Fraud Detection Acquisition, Open Buy Launch and R19

Brexit

Coupa has acquired an AI fraud detection company and begun its official rollout of Open Buy with Amazon Business, our colleagues at Spend Matters UK/Europe reported from Coupa Inspire last week. The two announcements highlight Coupa’s recent push to integrate more advanced functionality into its spend management platform, from bringing sourcing optimization to a wider audience to enabling the elusive “guided buying” experience.

Managing Employee Spend Strategically

BuyerQuest

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Guy La Corte, general manager, Americas, at Concur.

Employees have access to and are spending more of your company’s money across more spend categories using more payment methods than ever before. And for finance and procurement managers, it’s increasingly challenging to track spending in a world where employees are paying supplier invoices directly with company checks; booking and managing travel directly on their mobile devices; using their corporate, ghost, virtual, corporate or even personal cards for just about everything; and vendors are marketing directly to them with upgrades and offers. This employee-initiated spend has become the largest unmanaged spend category in almost every company’s financial program.

New Research: Using Best Practices to Maximize Travel & Expense ROI

T&E

Travel and expense management goes beyond making sure employees aren’t submitting dubious expenses like, say, $1,000 toward adult entertainment or $80 worth of drinks to keep a spouse “calm and occupied” (both of which were real expenses, by the way, as reported by Inc.). According to a new London School of Economics report commissioned by Amadeus, companies can cut the cost of processing a transaction by more than 50% by actively managing T&E and implementing best practices.

Tying up T&E Loose Ends: T&E Meets Risk Management (Part 3) [Plus+]

In previous installments of this Plus series, we discussed the amount of risk companies face when deploying workers around the globe and what precautions the company and its workers must take. In Part 1, we specifically talked about duty of care provisions, and in Part 2 we continued his analysis of corporate travel risks. Today, we complete the series by offering a number of recommendations companies should take regarding T&E management.