Internal expense reporting drains company’s resources

Travel News 01 Nov 2015

In a joint study titled Expense Reporting: Global Practices and Pain Points between GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association, and HRS Global Hotel Solutions, it was identified that 70% travel buyers currently process expense reports internally using third-party software, two in ten (19%) process expense reports internally without the help of third-party software and four percent outsource this process entirely.

Annually, approximately half a million dollars and nearly 3,000 hours correcting errors in expense reports, according to a new study that identified pain points in expense reporting.

While the costs for processing expense reports present the greatest challenge to company time and money, travel buyers identified the beginning steps of preparing an expense report as the most troublesome including setting up the expense report (24%), entering the data (33%) and attaching receipts (37%).

Here are the five numbers that show how expense reports can drain company resources.

1. The average cost to process an expense report for a single night hotel stay is $58.

2. It takes 20 minutes on average to complete one expense report.

3. 19 percent of expense reports contain errors or missing information.

4. It takes 18 minutes to correct each expense report.

5. This costs an additional $52 to correct each expense report.


Global Differences in Expense Reporting Practices

• Travel buyers in North America (86%) and Asia-Pacific (84%) most often use an expense reporting software, while Latin American travel buyers report using such software at a much lower rate (60%). Instead, they are much more likely to use another computer program to submit their expense reports (50%, compared to 22% of the total). Alternatively, travel buyers in Europe (35%), led mostly by Germany (45%), are most likely to submit paper expense reports.

• With receipts, submitting paper receipts remains the most popular method (63%), particularly in Europe (81%) and Latin America (71%). The exception is North America, where majorities of travel buyers report submitting receipts via scanned images (84%), electronically (62%) and using their smart phone (61%).