SOURCE: Aberdeen Group

May 07, 2008 12:54 ET

Travel and Entertainment (T&E) Expense Management

New Study Finds That Companies Face Significant Pressure to Manage T&E Costs; Compliance Drives Savings and Operational Efficiencies

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - May 7, 2008) - Travel and entertainment (T&E) is an area of significant spend within an enterprise and continues to grow, forcing companies to devote their attention to how to best manage a multi-million dollar category of enterprise spend. As a global economic slowdown looms, it more important than ever to control T&E expenses, which is the top pressure identified by 54% of the enterprises for addressing T&E expense management. According to a new study published by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), top-performing enterprises are leveraging key technologies and services in combination with developing critical organizational capabilities and strategies to improve compliance with corporate T&E policies.

The "T&E Expense Management" report finds that the bottom line of a company can be impacted significantly by more effectively managing T&E expenses. Improving compliance can lead directly to cost savings and also result in operational efficiencies. Enterprises are therefore looking largely to technology to not only improve operational efficiencies, reduce costs, and drive visibility, but to also raise employee convenience and productivity.

By leveraging T&E technologies and services such as online / self booking tools, corporate cards, expense reporting management solutions, travel management companies, and travel data reporting applications, Best-in-Class enterprises have achieved outstanding results:

--  An 95% compliance rate to corporate T&E policies
--  43% lower costs for processing expense reports than competitors
--  Online booking costs 40% lower than all other enterprises
    

"By automating parts of the T&E process and using key corporate services, Best-in-Class enterprises are achieving better policy compliance and higher rates of cost savings," said Bill Browning, Research Analyst, Aberdeen. "And while the company is realizing savings and compliance benefits, the process is also made more efficient for the business traveler, from booking through submitting expense reports and getting reimbursed."

To reach the level of performance of Best-in-Class organizations for effective T&E expense management, Aberdeen recommends that enterprises undertake the following actions:

--  Secure executive support for T&E initiatives
--  Regularly audit T&E expenditures
--  Improve utilization of corporate cards and leverage direct deposit
    capabilities for reimbursement
--  Provide flexibility for business travelers by providing online, on-
    demand, and offline access to expense management and reporting tools
    

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Concur, ExpenseWire, Infor, and Suntrust. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4730.

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.

© 2008 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
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