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Author's profile photo Neil Krefsky

How Do Finance Executives Benchmark Success in Travel and Expense Management?

As we continue to come out of the global financial crisis from a few years ago, companies are once again increasing their travel activities to address and participate in top line revenue growth opportunities.  Additionally, with travel being one of the highest controllable costs on most company’s income statement (2nd only to payroll expense), a dilemma has evolved for CFO’s and other finance exec’s which is: How to cut corporate travel expense management costs without limiting the ability to grow the business?  During the financial crisis companies put in place severe travel restrictions that caused extreme limitations on business travel and as such many departments eliminated business trips all together.  However, in today’s business climate this is no longer realistic.  Many studies show business travel is significantly on the rise as top line growth once again trumps severe cost cutting measures.  So how are leading edge finance departments addressing the dilemma of reducing travel management costs without restricting employees from taking necessary business trips.  The answer for CFO’s is to incorporate key best practices, policies and efficiencies across the entire life cycle of a business trip rather than placing restrictions on employees ability to travel. 

So what are some of these best practices and how are companies benchmarking the success of their travel and expense management processes?   Click the infographic to the right to take a look at the top 5 according to an independent research survey done with executives from finance departments around the world: SAP-CloudforTravel_BestPracticesInfographicMay2013.png



To learn more details about these stats attend this complimentary Webcast: 5 Benchmarks for Travel Expense Management Success provided by industry experts and research firm Paystream Advisors. 


During this webcast they will share their research and survey results from finance executives of companies of various size, industries and geographies on the latest trends and benchmarks for improving travel expense management. Additionally, a leading organization, Port of San Diego, will discuss their experience of bringing innovation to their travel expense operations using the SAP Cloud for Travel solution. 

Specifically you will hear how the SAP Cloud for Travel solution enables the Port of San Diego to incorporate best practices such as:

  • Mobility to eliminate expenses using paper receipts, but rather using images submitted through mobile-based applications
  • Seamless integration to other systems needed to manage the entire life cycle of a trip for more efficient processing, faster reimbursements and better better spend analysis

You will hear how out of the box integration to their SAP ERP environment was major consideration in choosing SAP Cloud for Travel over other well known competitors as noted in this article. This is a real life example which is very relevant and validates a post I made last year: Cut Your Corporate Travel and Expense Processing Costs in Half with IT Automation.  In this post I referenced the following research study point: On average a company spends approximately $21.41 to process an expense report if their process is entirely manual. This was more than twice the processing costs accrued by companies that are fully automated. Organizations that have some automation in place have been successful at driving down the processing costs to $15.06 per transaction, but companies that are fully automated and using an integrated system have dropped their per transaction cost to only $8.50.  That research has since been updated in 2013 with the following stats:


I hope you take advantage of some of the above reading materials and Webcast featuring independent survey results and customer experiences all of which can help build a significant business case for your company to invest in software that automates corporate travel and expense management processes!  Happy travels 😉

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      The best way to cut travel cost is to not travel. I have done millions of dollars of business remotely. There are so many collaboration tools now that travel should only be allowed in key scenarios, such as meeting a client for the first time, an on-site assessment, a project kick-off, or a project go-live.

      Author's profile photo Faisal Iqbal
      Faisal Iqbal

      Talking about collaboration tools, SAP StreamWork is also one of good tools through which variety of business activities could be performed and which do not necessarily require travel.

      Author's profile photo Faisal Iqbal
      Faisal Iqbal

      Thanks for sharing the research survey. Good to know the key best practices. Could you please shed some light on "policies" as well, how to incorporate effective policies to control the travel costs?

      The answer for CFO's is to incorporate

      1) key best practices,

      2) policies and

      3) efficiencies

      across the entire life cycle of a business trip rather than placing restrictions on employees ability to travel.

      Sometime travel is of urgent nature and the company policy requires a complete workflow to be followed before making travel arrangements... How to address such situations?