Expense Management Too Expensive?

Aberdeen: Automation can cut processing costs by 80 percent

Boston  December 7, 2001  Is it getting too expensive to manage your company's travel and entertainment expenses? A new report from technology consultancy Aberdeen Group suggests that expense management automation (EMA) could be just what you're looking for.

EMA technologies help organizations scrutinize and control enterprise spending by automating the filing, approval, payment and management of employee expenditures.

In the report, "Expense Management Automation Offers Antidote to Down Economy," Aberdeen suggests that EMA has the potential to reduce the average cost to process an expense report by more than 80 percent, much in the way that e-procurement reduces the cost of processing a purchase order.

The report also suggests that both companies and their employees can share the benefits of EMA. The automation solutions can cut the average time it takes to enter an expense report by more than 60 percent, while the average time to settle an expense claim declines more than 90 percent.

Need bottom-line results? EMA has you covered. Aberdeen asserts that companies can pay as much as 10 percent less for goods and services as a result of increased contract compliance achieved through an EMA implementation.

"As companies continue to cut back on all but the most necessary expenditures, they need to keep close tabs on every dollar being spent," says Christa Degnan, an Aberdeen research analyst. "With, on average, 20 cents, of every operational dollar going toward travel and entertainment, the automation and control of employee-initiated expenses provide a significant opportunity to reduce costs, especially in today's economic climate."

For its report, available for free at Aberdeen's Web site, the consultancy interviewed leading EMA vendors as well as select early adopters of EMA solutions.

For more information on EMA tools, see The Net Best Thing: Expense Reports Made Inexpensive in December 2001 issue of iSource Business.