Outdated expense management processes are costing business travelers time, money, and sanity, finds Banyan expense management survey

Outdated expense management processes are costing business travelers time, money, and sanity, finds Banyan expense management survey

Nearly 40% of respondents would rather eat a worm than file daily expense reports

Over half (55%) of surveyed business travelers cited the time burden of expense management as their top pain point with the process. The time burden is evident – nearly 6 out of 10 business travelers spend 20 minutes or more organizing materials to file an expense report.

"Integrating item-level data into expense management systems is the key to unlock faster, more accurate reporting processes and consequently, more satisfied consumers. This is one of many applications of item-level data that enables brands to create better, more engaging experiences for consumers across all touchpoints of their journey. Key benefits to hotels and merchants include increased revenue and reduced operations expenses, all facilitated by a more efficient process - while consumers and business travelers can save time and energy through automated receipt capture often eliminating the need for an expense report."

While it may not be their favorite process, research shows that business travelers don't delay submitting receipts for reimbursement, with 90% of business travelers filing expense reports within a week of returning from their trip. But what happens when they don't have all of the necessary records? According to respondents, the primary emotions tied to missing receipts from trips are negative, with responses ranging from "frustrated" to "stressed" and even "panicked."

Just how much do business travelers dislike the expense report process? They're willing to go to drastic measures to avoid doing expense reports–

Business travel is changing, and companies are falling behind on the trends. Despite 3 out of 4 business travelers having engaged in "bleisure travel" – meaning travel that is a combination of business and leisure – only 61% of business travelers say their company has a policy on bleisure travel. The most common activities that bleisure travelers engage in are connecting with friends and family in the area (73%), sightseeing or tourist activities (73%) and personal dining (71%). During these blended trips, almost half of travelers are using a mixture of personal and business cards to pay for trips – and 63% of business travelers would like increased flexibility in using cards of their choice during bleisure travel, something corporations should take note of when building new bleisure policies. One solution is working with a travel and expense management provider that securely and automatically captures receipt information down to the item-level data – relieving business travelers from the need to track multiple cards separately and limiting time spent on expense reports and time spent on fixing errors in those reports.

As travel trends evolve, CFOs are facing the added challenge of ensuring there is no mix up of personal and professional credit card charges; they need to ensure the company travel budget is paying for hotel rooms, not spa massages. Over half (53%) of business travelers have accidentally put a personal charge on a corporate card, or vice versa. This is particularly imperative to reign in as CFOs are tightening budgets in response to economic conditions.

"As we face the high probability of a looming recession, finance departments are laser-focused on where to cut costs and improve productivity. Banyan brings a new level of automated transparency to out of policy spending, without the headache and reliance on employees to chase down their receipts. With item-level data applications, the travel and expense budget becomes illuminated as an opportunity for companies to save money and instill a mindset that every dollar spent is receiving the same level of scrutiny."

As the expense management landscape continues to evolve, item-level data is the link that can benefit merchants, banks, and consumers to alleviate shared frustrations. For more on Banyan's item-level data capabilities, visit www.Banyan.com.