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2013 Predictions for Travel and Expense Management from an Expert

By on April 12, 2013 in Expense, Industry Expert, Travel with 0 Comments

Renowned analyst, Christopher J. Dwyer, of the Aberdeen Group, has been writing and researching the topic of travel and expense management for many years. With over 150 research studies and documents to his name, he is well placed to predict the changes in store this year. Here are his observation about the evolution of travel and expense management and his 2013 predictions.

The evolution of the importance of T&E

travel expensesLast year saw travel and expense reach new financial heights; on average, anywhere from 8% to 12% of the average organisation’s total budget was spent on expenses related to travel and entertainment (T&E). Aberdeen’s 2012 research confirmed a phrase that I’ve been speaking about for the past few years: travel and expense management is growing in strategic value. No longer are organisations seeing travel and expense management as just another back-office function. Since 2010, Aberdeen Group research has revealed that organisations across the globe are viewing this function as a moderately-to-highly strategic internal series of processes, a far cry from the past…

Efficiency is key

And how does the average organisation drive strategic value from travel and expense management? By applying efficiencies to all areas of this critical function. Aberdeen research has, for the past seven years, highlighted the technological and programme advancements in this area. The best-in-class success features include automating expense management processes or at least linking organisational and travel / expense management processes more effectively. The results are that businesses are effectively driving down operational costs, improving corporate policy compliance and enhancing business travel spend management.

In 2013, we’re going to see some major shifts in both the strategy and technology arenas:

  • Mobile will, once again, be the focus of any technological advancements. Mobile has always been a hot topic around these parts, and 2013 will be no different. Watch for mobile apps to take another leap and offer both business travelers and executives a wide variety of tools (expense management, travel-booking, etc.) and content to not only streamline business travel, but support the notion of strategic travel.
  • Integration will take many forms. For years, I’ve been writing about expense management integration with other key systems, such as corporate cards and payroll. We’ve seen a shift into other realms, such as integration with CRM, which supports the notion of the “social enterprise” and links sales opportunities and engagement with travel expense, as well as integration with ERP for maximum visibility and intelligence. And, speaking of intelligence…
  • Data will be the most valuable component of travel and expense management. Financial forecasters often depend on a variety of sources for their planning and budgeting efforts; since T&E encompasses a significant chunk of corporate finances, wouldn’t it make sense to pull this data into any type of financial forecasting? Exactly. More and more execs will look to ensure that analytical and business intelligence capabilities for travel and expense management are just as sound as traditional processes within this category.

Would you like to be part of future research? You can participate in Aberdeen 2013 Travel and Expense Management survey and get a free copy.

 

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