SOURCE: Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

March 06, 2007 12:39 ET

T&E Expense Reporting: an Arduous Process Begging for Automation

New Aberdeen Study Finds a $1 Million Savings Opportunity for Expense Reporting

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 6, 2007 -- T&E (travel and entertainment) expense reporting and management is a complex process that, when manually managed with paper-based systems, is fraught with extraordinary compliance risk and inflated processing costs. Unfortunately, lack of automation in managing one of the largest categories of controllable enterprise spend is the norm, leaving most enterprises with inefficient processes that offer little visibility into overall T&E spend and no mechanism to ensure policy compliance. Material was revealed in a new study by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS).

Several factors are increasing the focus on expense management for the 377 enterprises that participated in this study, including:

--  Compliance focus: The need to reduce current risk levels posed by non-
    compliance with internal policies and external government regulations
--  Cost reduction: The competitive pressure to reduce processing,
    administrative and auditing costs associated with expense reports
--  Employee productivity: The organizational pressure to improve employee
    productivity and satisfaction
    
The top strategic action planned by almost 70% of respondents in this study is the adoption/improvement of technology to automate expense management processes.

Enterprises are looking to automate the "back-end" of expense management. Among others, accounts payable personnel expressed concerns with manual methods -- lengthy reimbursement cycles, losses due to fraud, non-compliance to regulatory requirement and travel policies, and poor visibility into spending data.

--  Processing costs: while enterprises using fully automated processes
    have an average cost of $15 per expense report, costs for those using
    manual systems is more than double ($31 per expense report). A company
    processing 5,000 expense reports a month can save approximately $16 per
    report on processing costs. The result is a savings of $960,000 in one
    year.
--  Approximately 70% of Best in Class enterprises are using one of the
    four automated methods for expense management (i.e., end-to-end solution,
    ERP provider, expense management software or outsourcing), compared to only
    42% for all other enterprises.
    
Additionally, respondents showed significant interest in using certain features that expense management systems provide, such as: on-demand access, hotel e-folio data integration, ability to use mobile devices, and receipt fax imaging.

For a complimentary copy of this report, made available with support from American Express, IBM, Infor, InterplX and Spendvision, please visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=3903

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen™ for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

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