Big Blue Collaboration

IBM and American Express jointly develop expense mgmt tools

NEW YORK  March 6, 2002  American Express Company and IBM today announced an agreement to jointly develop a Web-based expense reporting and reconciliation tool designed to reduce the cost of managing everyday business expenses. 

Marketed by American Express as part of its American Express @ Work suite of online expense management tools and hosted by IBM, the application is aimed at helping companies boost productivity and increase control over everyday expenses by automating employees' expense reporting and reconciliation processes.  

The American Express @ WorkÒ Reconciliation Management tool eliminates the need for manually obtaining signature approvals and reviewing corporate policies. It also relieves the burden on Accounts Payable personnel of verifying and assigning accounting codes to the thousands of travel and purchasing expenses companies incur every month.  The new e-business on demand service will be available to American Express Corporate Card and Corporate Purchasing Card clients in the second quarter of 2002.  Pilot tests are now underway.

Companies need to manage the bottom line now more than ever, and our aim is to bring automated expense reporting and reconciliation to a wider audience through our relationships with the tens of thousands of companies using our cards, said Yvonne Schneider, Vice President, Global Product Development, American Express Corporate Services.  Together IBM and American Express are filling a gap for world-class expense reporting and reconciliation tools backed by blue chip security standards, customer service and implementation support.

American Express will offer two modules of the solution, one for reporting travel and miscellaneous business expenses, the other for reconciling corporate purchases. Both have been adapted from a Java application that IBM developed for its own internal use to serve the company's hundreds of thousands of employees worldwide. 

We invented the expense reporting solution to help reduce the hassle of reporting expenses for our own employees and avoid the costs associated with processing them, said Ralph Senst, vice president, e-business collaboration solutions for IBM.  Now companies of all sizes can access a hosted version of one of the key productivity tools that has helped IBM become a premier e-business.