Despite optimism about travel recovery, 58% of businesses have outdated or no policies in place for travel and expenses
Seattle, Washington, January 30, 2023 /PR Newswire/ — centera software company that helps companies gain visibility and control over employee spending, today released insights from its fourth annual Expense Management Trends Survey, showing that despite an uncertain economic environment, More than a third (36%) of respondents said that $250,000 spend on travel each year, 16% of $500,000Other findings include the need for modern expense management checks and balances. Businesses continue to suffer from outdated processes that make it difficult to control costs and adhere to budgets in difficult economic times.
Corporate travel recovers first despite volatile macro environment
A historically difficult cost to manage, travel is typically the second-highest business expense for businesses, after salaries. Towards 2022 Global Business Travel Association survey indicates a recovery in domestic business travel compared to pre-pandemic levels, estimated to have almost fully recovered (63%) compared to 2019.
- Half (50%) of survey respondents expect business travel to increase in the next one to three years.
- Just over a third (36%) $250,000 year on business trip
- 16% spending $500,000 Over a year on business trips
Outdated T&E policies create complexity
Business travel is on the rise, but survey respondents believe their T&E policies are not clearly defined. The lack of policies creates confusion about what counts as a business expense, what the spending guardrails are, and how exactly to track expenses. Increased business travel and volatile economic conditions demand more dynamic planning and sophisticated employee expense management. As the travel landscape continues to evolve, SMEs need more comprehensive T&E guidelines and easy-to-use tools to effectively manage employee spending.
- Over half (58%) of respondents either have outdated T&E policies or no T&E policies at all.
- 44% book travel directly (other than corporate booking tools)
- The #1 reason people don’t book through corporate tools is lack of knowledge or ignorance of their existence.
Post-pandemic workforce sheds light on inefficient legacy systems
According to a new survey, most respondents (50%+) are now working in fully remote or hybrid environments and have issued more corporate cards in the last three years to keep up with the changes. The move to more decentralized expense management processes has created ill-equipped or rigid systems, lack of automation and real-time visibility, and additional challenges such as:
- Nearly one-third (32%) rely on manual processes and manual reconciliations using spreadsheets and paper for inefficient expense management
- Dissatisfied with current expense management tools (24%), with 37% describing the expense review and approval process as “complicated”
- Time-consuming tasks, such as time spent by employees filling out expenses (40%), time spent creating/analyzing expense data and trends (31%), and credit card reconciliation (27%).
“After four consecutive years of tracking SME sentiment related to expense management, it’s notable that there is renewed optimism in business travel as a top investment area,” he said. Naveen Singh, CEO of the Center. “As companies rethink and modernize their back-end operations to accommodate the changing workplace, finance teams are increasingly relying on technology and automation to help track spending across a distributed workforce. The work continues to evolve.”
Download the full expense management trend report herePlease contact us to request a media interview with a Center executive. [email protected].
About the center
center is a software company that helps companies gain visibility and control over employee spending. Our leadership shaped the first wave of spend management innovation and created The Center to provide a more cost-effective and modern way to automate expense processing for mid-market companies. center expensesis an integrated corporate card and expense solution that small businesses use to save time, improve operations and compliance, and provide real-time insights to finance teams to make better decisions. Center is a privately held company headquartered in the United States. Bellevue, Washington with team members nationwide. For more information, please visit getcenter.com.
SOURCE Center/Barokas PR