cray cray expense reportWe tend to assume that technology will help speed up whatever we’re doing, right? We can share photos with our families and friends in seconds rather than days, shift money from one account to another without stepping inside a bank, and so on. But sometimes the reverse is true of technology—think of how painful it can be to navigate through a complicated voicemail system.

So it’s important to carefully examine any technology you’re considering for its true value. Will it significantly improve and shorten a business process while reducing costs? If it’s automated expense reporting software, the answer is “yes.” Here are some facts to consider:

  1. The average expense report requires 18 days to process after submission at a cost of approximately $36. Expense report automation can reduce that to as little as three days to process and less than $7 per report (Source: American Express).
  2. An organization implementing online expense reporting will reduce the average time to enter an expense report by more than 60% (Source: Aberdeen Group).
  3. Out-of-policy expenses can exceed 40% of total travel expenditures (Source: Aberdeen Group).
  4. Expense report processing accounts for between 3% and 15% of the total travel and expense budget (Source: American Express).
  5. On average, nearly 5% of expense report claims have errors (Source: Institute of Management and Administration).

Those are five compelling reasons to believe that expense reporting systems are worth the investment. Here’s another reason. The Aberdeen Group looked at the cost to process a single expense report for three groups: best in class (top 20% in terms of maturity), industry average (middle 50%), and laggard (bottom 30%). 

Aberdeen found it costs $7.91 to process an expense report if you’re in a best-in-class company. That same report costs $17.87 if you’re in the middle group, and it costs a whopping $25.72 if you’re in the bottom third. That’s an additional $17 difference per report from the top to the bottom—clear evidence it’s time to abandon manual expense reporting processes in favor of automation. Your job is probably dependent on suggesting ways to improve processes and reduce costs. Expense report automation can make you a hero. 





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