Escalating prices for travel services—airfare, lodging and travel agency fees – coupled with an up-swing in the number of annual business trips per employee, are proving to be a significant drain on the bottom-line for corporate America. As the majority of organizations continue to rely on paper—or spreadsheets at best—the process of collecting, approving and auditing expense reports translates to a cumbersome travel management process and results in losses from occurrences of employee fraud. This is beginning to change for companies who see the opportunity to leverage technology and the Internet to improve the process.
In the upcoming e-Roundtable "Travel & Expense Management: Technology Solution Showdown", PayStream's analysts highlight how sophisticated organizations are improving their expense control process with automation. T&E solution providers CyberShift (Necho), Expensewatch.com, Gelco and Inlogik will provide valuable insights to enterprise managers by answering eight pre-determined questions about their individual solutions.
During the course of the e-Roundtable: "Travel and Expense Management: Technology Solution Showdown", attendees can expect to gain insights from responses to the following questions we ask the solution providers:
1. Does your solution offer functionality to address expense management beyond T&E to span across the entire enterprise? What other expenses can be handled using your solution? What are the benefits of an integrated solution?
2. Briefly describe the integration your solution provided with corporate credit cards. What benefits have clients achieved from this integration?
3. Describe the benefits to organizations from “Digital Receipt Filing.” How does your solution facilitate this process?
4. What are the best practices around integrated payment capabilities to reimburse travelers and corporate cards and do these practices differ globally from the US?
5. How important do you think auditing is to the TEM process? Outline some best practices that would help organizations identify fraud and reduce maverick spend through the use of periodic audits.
6. How does your solution facilitate compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley requirements? Can you give an example of a client that has benefited from this functionality?
7. How does your solution help organizations with a global presence? How does it facilitate international payments and compliance with international regulations?
8. What reporting/spend analysis tools are available with the solution? How do these help your clients? What functionality comes basic with the product and how can this be enhanced?
Drivers for Automation
Paper is a thing of the past in the TEM world. Until recently, obstacles to automation included a lack of awareness of the technology, confusion about and reluctance to make initial investments, and the simple fact that current approaches, however slow or costly, still accomplish the basic task of reimbursing employees.
More recently, accounts payable and human resources departments are realizing that the challenges associated with these paper-based, manual reimbursement processes— especially lengthy reimbursement cycles, losses from fraud, and traveler policy non-compliance—far outweigh the costs of automation.
PayStream's recent survey of finance, treasury, and accounting professionals revealed that almost 75 percent of respondents are either currently using an automated Travel & Expense Management (TEM) solution or planning to implement one within the next 12 months. Sush Koka, Sr. Research Analyst stated “Our models predict that adoption among large and mid-sized companies will further accelerate as the benefits of expense automation become increasingly clear and well-known.”
One of the biggest drivers for TEM solutions is their ability to identify and expose fraud, a growing concern for most companies. "Our research indicates that employee fraud has been on the rise, but now, thanks to advanced TEM systems, companies have the ability to detect and control fraud." Ms. Koka added.
PayStream’s TEM Buyer’s Guide
PayStream Advisors studies providers of financial products, services and technology and publishes reports to help finance managers to take make strategic use of technology in their organizations. The 65-page Travel & Expense Management (TEM) report is aimed at corporate decision makers who want to learn about automation opportunities and are interested in evaluating service providers for their accounts payable, human resources and purchasing departments.
In addition to an overview of TEM technology and trends in the accounts payable automation industry, the report includes profiles and comparative analyses of seven leading providers who are shaping the industry — Concur, CyberShift (Necho), expensewatch.com, Extensity, Gelco, Inlogik and InterplX.
About PayStream Advisors, Inc.
PayStream Advisors is a technology research and consulting firm that improves the way companies plan, evaluate, and select emerging technologies to achieve their business objectives. PayStream’s services are designed to minimize risk and maximize the value associated with technology investments. PayStream Advisors assists clients in sorting through the growing complexities of IT applications related to financial automation with the goal of making objective, analytical, and actionable recommendations.
About Cybershift (Necho)
CyberShift, a leading workforce management software company, delivers enterprise-class time and attendance, labor management, advanced employee scheduling, employee and manager self-service, FMLA case management, workforce optimization and related solutions to address the needs of large, complex organizations in both commercial and public sectors.
CyberShift’s award-winning, 100% Web-based workforce management solutions are built upon an agile service-oriented architecture and have been awarded patents in the United States and Canada.
Expensewatch.com provides the full spectrum of expense control automation tools. The on-demand service is delivered through a Web browser, allowing customers to achieve complete control over company spending for low cost, time to implement and risk.
Customers can automate all or a portion of their expenses by choosing solutions for travel and entertainment, purchasing and accounts payable workflow. Policies and budgets, compliance and real-time reporting are included in the subscription pricing.
Gelco helps organizations manage their travel expenditures for greater profitability. Since 1894, Gelco is the recognized leader in expense management by delivering the most comprehensive, global automated expense management and payment solutions available.
Today, Gelco’s Expense Management solutions help more than 1,200 corporations and public sector organizations—including more than 150 federal agencies and higher education institutions—manage their travel money more effectively.
For over 10 years Inlogik have been the leading provider of corporate expense management software throughout the world. Inlogik commenced operations in 1992, and since that time have continued to deliver innovative and intuitive corporate expense management software solutions that allow organisations to process data more efficiently.
Inlogik's ProMaster corporate expense management software is unique because it operates across different countries, where global corporations deal with multiple currency and tax systems, multiple credit cards, various workflow and business rules, business reporting systems and technical environments.