Business travel-related expenses surprisingly account for, on an average 10% of company’s annual budget. The unique habits and expectations of millennials put upward pressure on this, and with Asia expected to be home for 60% of the world’s millennials globally by 2020, current Travel and Expense (T&E) operations need to evolve.
Concur has put together a snapshot of the situation and recommendations for 2020 that CFOs and business leaders should find interesting. Despite steady growth outlook in Asia Pacific, the sharper than envisaged slowdown in China and other factors are causing businesses to tighten their corporate budgets to include – Travel and Expenses (T&E).
Asia Pacific is the largest business travel region globally and in 2015, $9 out $10 has been spent by companies on business travel expenses mainly to Asia, Western Europe or North America. However, most are least aware that T&E is the most difficult operating expense to control. Why?
- Manual Reporting is Time Consuming: 80% of businesses rely heavily on T&E data entered manually.
- Millennials are rising: Asia will become home for about 60% of the world’s millennials by 2020 and they are 2x times more likely to travel for business.
- Lack of Visibility: 59% organizations are unable to determine accurate travel expenses incurred on business trips as they rely heavily on spreadsheets, and 42% are unable to import data from other systems.
By 2020, it is predicted that Asia Pacific will gain another 3% of global market share. Hence, T&E optimization is now a priority for CFOs, more than ever before. Here are some recommendations to optimize T&E spends:
- Automate and Transform: Automation has its benefits. Businesses can integrate and unify all booking channels in a one-stop platform and allow expense reports to be written themselves from pre-trip to post-trip.
- Increase Operational Efficiency: T&E automation increases employee productivity by 29%, which means you can save on an average 6.1 hours on travel planning and 4.1 hours on expense reporting per year per employee.
- Accept Supplier Direct Bookings and Embrace the Sharing Economy: This would mean empowering employees with greater flexibility and freedom of choice during business travel.
- Go Mobile First: Businesses can reduce their processing costs by up to 65% with mobile expense reporting. This would also enable employees to access travel plans on the go, with no more issues arising out of lost receipts, making it difficult for businesses to calculate their travel spend.
- End-to-End Visibility: This helps employees to stay within the limits of policy, thus increasing transparency, facilitating business to identify areas wherein the actual spend is occurring. This creates a win-win situation for both employers and the employee on a business trip.
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