2 Page 2 Executive Summary 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 is 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. Aberdeen research shows that Best-in-Class enterprises are leveraging key technologies and services in combination with developing critical organizational capabilities and strategies to improve compliance with corporate T&E policies. Research Benchmark Aberdeen s Research Benchmarks provide an indepth and comprehensive look into process, procedure, methodologies, and technologies with best practice identification and actionable recommendations Best-in-Class Performance Aberdeen defined Best-in-Class enterprises by the level of compliance they achieved with corporate policies for T&E. These competitive leaders have leveraged key technologies and process to achieve: 95% compliance to corporate T&E policies Online booking costs 40% lower than their competitors 62% lower processing costs for expense reports than all others Competitive Maturity Assessment Survey results show that the firms enjoying Best-in-Class performance shared several common characteristics. They are: 79% more likely to audit T&E expenses 76% more likely to formalize T&E policies and processes Two- to 5.5-times more likely to communicate and educate employees about corporate T&E policies Required Actions In addition to the specific recommendations in Chapter Three of this report, to achieve Best-in-Class performance, companies must: Centralize management of T&E programs Secure executive support for T&E initiatives Improve utilization of corporate cards and leverage direct deposit capabilities for reimbursement Provide flexibility for business travelers by providing online, ondemand, and offline access to expense management and reporting tools
3 Page 3 Table of Contents Executive Summary...2 Best-in-Class Performance...2 Competitive Maturity Assessment...2 Required Actions...2 Chapter One: Benchmarking the Best-in-Class...4 The Rising Wave of T&E Spend...4 The Maturity Class Framework...5 The Best-in-Class PACE Model...6 Chapter Two: Benchmarking Requirements for Success...10 Competitive Assessment...11 Capabilities and Enablers...13 Chapter Three: Required Actions...19 Laggard Steps to Success...19 Industry Average Steps to Success...20 Best-in-Class Steps to Success...20 Appendix A: Research Methodology...22 Appendix B: Related Aberdeen Research...24 Figures Figure 1: Top Driving Factors...4 Figure 2: Top Challenges for Effective T&E Management...5 Figure 3: Top Actions to Improve T&E Management...7 Figure 4: Booking Transaction Costs...8 Figure 5: Use of T&E Data...9 Figure 6: Technology and Services Utilization - Current and Planned...10 Figure 7: Organizational Structure for Expense Management Processes...14 Figure 8: Oversight of T&E Processes...15 Figure 9: Discounts by Company Size...16 Figure 10: Corporate Travelers Using Corporate Card...17 Tables Table 1: Best-in-Class T&E Management Performance...6 Table 2: The Best-in-Class PACE Framework...6 Table 3: The Competitive Framework...12 Table 4: The PACE Framework Key...23 Table 5: The Competitive Framework Key...23 Table 6: The Relationship Between PACE and the Competitive Framework...23
4 Page 4 Chapter One: Benchmarking the Best-in-Class As with other complex categories of spend, Travel and Entertainment (T&E) is often overlooked or improperly managed leading to serious issues such as non-compliance and loss of control over expenses. Previous Aberdeen research in this space has detailed the strategies and ideas that enterprises are utilizing to grasp control over this category. The study for this report found that in order to alleviate the pressures and challenges facing enterprises in regards to T&E expense management, formal polices lay the foundation for compliance. Without corporate T&E policies, travelers are freed into a world of off-contract spend; with policies in place, employees have a set of guidelines for which airline, hotel, or car rental companies to choose when traveling in order to capitalize on any corporate contracts and agreements in place. Once order is established through process and policy, organizations turn to the technologies and services readily available to further bolster compliance and improve T&E management. Fast Facts 54% of enterprises indicate that the most significant challenge to effective T&E expense management is enforcement of compliance 54% of enterprises are auditing expense reports to more effectively manage their T&E programs The Rising Wave of T&E Spend With a looming economic recession, there is a strong focus on internal expenses now more than ever. Our research has discovered that 80% of enterprises have seen their T&E expenses increase over the last year by an average of 14%, a figure made even more daunting when framed against the current business and economic climates. Attuned to the fact that T&E expenses are steadily, if not dramatically, rising, enterprises cite these increases as the most significant factor driving them to reevaluate and improve their current T&E expense management program (Figure 1). Figure 1: Top Driving Factors An increase in overall T&E expenses Lack of visibility into T&E spend Poor compliance to company T&E policies Cost to process expense reports is too high Pressure to streamline back-office operations 38% 31% 27% 27% 54% "As a result of overall business pressures and costs, we were mandated to reduce travel budgets by 20%. There was no choice; we had to make changes and figure out how to cut our spend." ~ Manager, T&E Procurement, Large Consumer Packaged Goods Enterprise
5 Page 5 Lack of visibility (38%) and poor compliance (37%) are two factors that are destructive to any T&E expense management program. Maverick spending is at the forefront of penalties for non-compliant events. While enterprises can reap the benefits of a negotiation with a hotel or airline, employees avoid policy by purchasing travel or entertainment that is not compliant with an existing contract. This leads to off-contract (maverick) spend, a thorn in the side of both corporate travel management and procurement professionals. With a clear view into an enterprise's spend, better decisions can be made across the organization. In a category as complex as travel and entertainment, visibility is a crucial element for efficient management. Data is Still King In Aberdeen's 2007 benchmark, Travel and Entertainment Technologies and Services, it was found that in the world of T&E, data is king. Data still holds the top spot in the world of expense management; the majority of enterprises cite a lack of sufficient T&E data (54%) as their top challenge when managing T&E expenses (Figure 2). Figure 2: Top Challenges for Effective T&E Management Lack of access to sufficient T&E data Enforcement of compliance to T&E policies Controlling cost of T&E program operations/admin Travel booking processes disconnected from expense reporting processes 38% 37% 54% 54% "Sales staff and frequent travelers feel policies are an inconvenience and a waste of time. They do not feel they need to comply with T&E policies and process or that they need to provide business purpose detail or receipts for their expenses. It is battle to enforce compliance on a regular basis." Insufficient accuracy of T&E data 35% ~ Director, Finance, Midsize Insurance Services Enterprise Enforcement of compliance is just as significant a hurdle for enterprises to overcome for effective T&E expense management. Enterprises find that it's their own internal functions and employees are to blame for off-contract spend. The Maturity Class Framework Aberdeen used the key performance criteria of compliance to corporate T&E polices to distinguish the Best-in-Class from Industry Average and Laggard organizations (Table 1).
6 Page 6 Table 1: Best-in-Class T&E Management Performance Definition of Maturity Class Best-in-Class: Top 20% of aggregate performance scorers Industry Average: Middle 50% of aggregate performance scorers Laggard: Bottom 30% of aggregate performance scorers Mean Class Performance 95% compliance to corporate T&E polices 81% compliance to corporate T&E policies 49% compliance to corporate T&E policies The Best-in-Class PACE Model Effectively managing a corporate T&E program requires a combination of strategic actions, organizational capabilities, and enabling technologies that can be summarized as shown in Table 2. Table 2: The Best-in-Class PACE Framework Pressures Actions Capabilities Enablers Increase in T&E expenses Establish T&E polices across all sites Consolidation of travel programs and processes across the enterprise Regular communication and education about corporate travel policies, including updates and changes Centralized organization to manage T&E processes across the enterprise Standardized T&E polices across entire enterprise Executive support for T&E policies and solutions Closer integration of T&E technologies and services to current enterprise technologies Ability to enforce T&E policy compliance Overcoming the significant challenge of compliance enforcement is accomplished in a myriad of ways (including process improvements and technology) resulting in both cost savings and operational efficiencies. Corporate travel cards to manage T&E Automated expense reporting solution Expense auditing Integrated reimbursement (with payroll or A/P solution) Online / self-booking solution Automated notification of travel policy terms (i.e. preauthorization, and alerts to noncompliance)
7 Page 7 Auditing: It Isn't Just for the IRS Over half (54%) of enterprises in our T&E survey indicated that their top action to improve T&E management execution is auditing of T&E expense reports (Figure 3). Figure 3: Top Actions to Improve T&E Management Audit T&E expense reports Use direct deposit for T&E reimbursements Establish formal T&E policies and processes Consolidation of travel programs Establish a list of preferred suppliers for each area of T&E Strategically source different T&E categories 33% 39% 54% 50% 49% 48% "Our system has given us much more efficient analysis tools. Now we can identify specific expense items or travel information to see if it was in line with our policies. This has also helped us in planning and demand management." ~ Senior Executive, Small Technology Organization Regular communication and education about corporate travel polices 28% Enterprises auditing their expenses are doing themselves a significant favor; this process allows them to have hands-on visibility into their travel and entertainment spend. Organizations can evaluate expense reports for instances of non-compliance to ensure that there is no repeat offend activity. Data culled from T&E expense reports allows companies to examine the detail behind expenses and leverage this information to track patterns and identify opportunities for savings. This aspect of T&E management is the catalyst for improving existing policies and procedures around the category. Implementation and standardization of T&E policies and processes is also a targeted strategy but does not always translate to an efficient system with clear visibility into whether employee expenses are compliant with company policy. Thus, a key action is to regularly communicate and educate corporate travelers on these policies, which is undertaken by only slightly more than one-fourth of enterprises. Where the Trail Leads Auditing and the compliance resulting from this strategy has enabled Best-in- Class enterprises to achieve significantly lower savings than their competitors when booking travel using both online and offline methods (Figure 4).
8 Page 8 Figure 4: Booking Transaction Costs $26.06 $22.67 $9.00 $12.50 $15.71 Best-in-Class All Others $5.40 Online booking tool Online booking tool with agent assistance By phone through travel agent Similarly, the Best-in-Class have distinguished themselves from all others for costs associated with processing expense reports, realizing costs that are 29% lower ($6.70 for Best-in-Class versus $10.89 for all others to process an expense report). The risk of lower compliance rates is a direct result of inefficiencies in T&E program management and administration. Preferred supplier lists and spending limits become meaningless if employees feel they can spend out of policy with no adverse consequences. Whatever travel policy is put in place, measuring and monitoring policy effectiveness is crucial for maintaining cost reductions. If there is a lack of business and audit controls, it becomes difficult to track T&E policy compliance and overall corporate spend. Setting and clearly communicating spending guidelines, along with enforcing rules and disciplining non-compliant behavior, plays a key role in achieving comprehensive control. Aberdeen Insights Leveraging T&E Data Past Aberdeen Group research hailed the advent of spend data as "king" when analyzing the travel and entertainment category. In an effort to reduce maverick spend and increase compliance, enterprises are turning to their own data sources as means of attack (Figure 5). continued
9 Page 9 Aberdeen Insights Leveraging T&E Data Figure 5: Use of T&E Data To track compliance to travel policies 82% To monitor spending patterns and trends 82% To audit expense reports to identify/prevent fraud 79% To audit expense reports to meet regulatory standards 77% To update/improve travel policies 73% Travel and entertainment expense data is mostly used to track compliance (82%) and monitor spending patterns and trends (82%). Enterprises should utilize and study the crucial resource of internal data to identify off-beat spending patterns that can be "fixed" - by eliminating off-contract spend along this path, future instances of non-compliance can be avoided. Compliance is the foundation on which any effective travel and expense management program is based. Yet, as previously noted in Figure 2, it is an aspect of the T&E process that enterprises find most challenging to enforce and manage.
10 Page 10 Chapter Two: Benchmarking Requirements for Success The average T&E spend for companies surveyed exceeded $12 million over the past year, with the highest total T&E spend at $99 million. Further analysis by enterprise size reveals that large enterprises (revenues over $1 billion) averaged $22.9 million of spend and mid-size enterprises spent $6.3 million on T&E in the past year. The impact that effective management of T&E programs can have on the bottom line of a company is significant in consideration of the magnitude of these averages. 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. Fast Facts 70% of enterprises use corporate cards to more effectively manage T&E expenses Best-in-Class enterprises are nearly three-times more likely to regularly communicate and educate personnel about corporate T&E policies and processes Technology Options There are a number of technologies and / or services being used to manage T&E expenses, namely, online booking tools, expense management solutions, corporate card programs, Travel Management Companies (TMCs), and travel data reporting applications (Figure 6). Figure 6: Technology and Services Utilization - Current and Planned 70% 9% 62% 18% 57% 9% 47% 43% 26% 25% "Technology has removed human element and allowed us to be consistent in the monitoring of compliance. We can actually go to reports and find out when and who went off policy." Corporate Card Program Online Booking / Self Booking Tool Travel Management Company Expense Management Solution Travel Data Reporting Application ~ Director, Supply Chain, North American Retail Company Currently Use Others that plan to use within 12 months Use of corporate card programs and online / self-booking tools have risen to prominence as the solutions of choice for managing T&E. The level of adoption of corporate card programs compared to other solutions and services is indicative of the relative importance placed on data received from these sources. The information provides significant value and convenience to enterprises leading to a 13% to 63% higher level of corporate card utilization than other solutions.
11 Page 11 In addition to corporate cards that are continuing to gain traction as more companies plan to use them, the use of expense management solutions and travel data reporting applications is also expected to become much more prevalent in the near-term. Increased utilization of these technologies indicates the rising level of importance enterprises place on extracting accurate, detailed T&E data from additional sources to complement information from credit card statements and feeds. To ensure that the negotiated discounts are recognized and provided by service providers, it is vital that companies have the proper data on hand. Information obtained from the different sources of T&E spend data allows the company to monitor and audit discounts received, and also identify areas of spend that can be further leveraged for deeper discounts in supplier negotiations. Additionally, monitoring compliance to corporate polices for using proper booking methods and the appropriate collection of preferred suppliers ensures that these discounts will be received even before the expenses are paid. Case Study Reinventing a T&E Program A multi-national retail enterprise was forced to examine and subsequently reinvent their T&E management program after it realized that its manual process was highly inefficient and largely ineffective. Mired in a paper-based environment where employees were required to submit expense reports weekly, compliance to corporate polices suffered and unwarranted items were routinely submitted for approval and reimbursed. Both business travelers and those processing reports were buried under a constant mountain of paper. Compounding the issue of manual management of expense reports was the lack of structure around corporate T&E policies. This large retail organization chose an on-demand travel and expense management solution to address their problems. Business travelers can now access the solution anytime and from anywhere to book travel and manage expense reports. Other key functionalities that led to the selection of this tool include automated pre-population of travel information into expense reports, full integration of corporate travel policies into the system, and auditing capabilities that flag out-of-policy transactions and prevent them from taking place before they occur. The results have been dramatic, beginning with changes in policy. Business travelers are now allowed to submit reports on a trip-base, dramatically reducing the amount of paperwork required. Corporate card policy compliance now reaches 90% and adoption of the online booking tool has raised from 50% to 82%. Additionally, reimbursement cycles for out-ofpocket expenses have been reduced from two weeks to 48 to 72 hours. The overall process has been simplified and requires less paper to manage. Competitive Assessment Aberdeen Group analyzed the aggregated metrics of surveyed companies to determine whether their performance ranked as Best-in-Class, Industry
12 Page 12 Average, or Laggard. In addition to having common performance levels, each class also shared characteristics in five key categories: (1) process (the approaches they take to execute their daily operations); (2) organization (corporate focus and collaboration among stakeholders); (3) knowledge management (contextualizing data and exposing it to key stakeholders); (4) technology (the selection of appropriate tools and effective deployment of those tools); and (5) performance management (the ability of the organization to measure their results to improve their business). These characteristics (identified in Table 3) serve as a guideline for best practices, and correlate directly with Best-in-Class performance across the key metrics. Table 3: The Competitive Framework Process Organization Knowledge Technology Best-in-Class Average Laggards Formal T&E policies and processes across the enterprise 72% 47% 32% Strategically source different T&E categories 38% 31% 28% Centralized organization to manage T&E across enterprise 50% 36% 23% Executive support of T&E expense management initiatives 83% 80% 66% Regular communication and education on corporate travel polices and processes, including updates and changes 55% 27% 10% Functionalities or features of T&E management tools: 73% expense auditing in expense management and reporting solution 68% direct deposit for reimbursement of T&E expenses 41% on-demand solution 37% automated notification of travel policy terms in online / self-booking solution 32% off-line access 55% expense auditing in expense management and reporting solution 52% direct deposit for reimbursement of T&E expenses 40% on-demand solution 36% automated notification of travel policy terms in online / self-booking solution 29% off-line access 51% expense auditing in expense management and reporting solution 42% direct deposit for reimbursement of T&E expenses 33% on-demand solution 33% automated notification of travel policy terms in online / self-booking solution 18% off-line access
13 Page 13 Performance Best-in-Class Average Laggards Leverage T&E data to: 77% to track compliance to corporate T&E policies 71% monitor spending trends and patterns 77% audit expense reports to identify and prevent fraud 55% update and improve corporate travel polices and processes 56% to track compliance to corporate T&E policies 51% monitor spending trends and patterns 44% audit expense reports to identify and prevent fraud 44% update and improve corporate travel polices and processes 45% to track compliance to corporate T&E policies 49% monitor spending trends and patterns 41% audit expense reports to identify and prevent fraud 41% update and improve corporate travel polices and processes Capabilities and Enablers The competitive nature of business forces enterprises to examine all of their corporate programs for inefficiencies and savings. Aberdeen's global supply management research has shown time and again that leveraging T&E services and tools allows organizations to deliver operational efficiencies, lower management costs, and ultimately raise the level of compliance to corporate polices. Best-in-Class enterprises have leveraged these solutions and services, readily supporting them with internal structures and processes, to distinguish their performance from their peers. Process Best-in-Class enterprises are 76% more likely to formalize T&E policies and processes across the enterprise. This ensures that each business unit or department is guided by the same basic rules of engagement for managing T&E. Standardization of policies and processes also ensures that the different steps taken to manage expenses can be duplicated and repeated for optimal results and program performance. Additionally, compliance is bolstered because there is no longer the need for interpretation of policy. It should be noted, however, that establishing a single set of regulations and policies is not necessarily the proper solution for enterprises that conduct business in multiple global regions. Due to regulatory, cultural, and ethical differences by region, it is important to also have the flexibility to adapt polices and processes accordingly. The basic tenets for utilizing preferred suppliers, leveraging technologies deployed for booking and / or expense reporting, and embracing a company-wide culture of compliance should be universal, but the execution may differ by region. "Looking over the different tools out there, it has given us the awareness that all data is accessible. But we still don't have policies in place yet to assist in making this how we manage T&E universal across all departments. " ~ Travel Director, North American Municipality
14 Page 14 Organization - Shared Responsibility According to our survey pool, only one-third (33%) of enterprises have put in place a centralized organization to manage all T&E expenses companywide (Figure 7). Figure 7: Organizational Structure for Expense Management Processes 11% 33% No formal organization Shared and distributed across multiple functions (i.e. procurement, finance, etc.) Independently handled within each business unit or region 42% Central organization for company-wide management 14% Forty-two percent (42%) of enterprises have their T&E expense management shared and distributed across multiple internal functions. This shared responsibility method diminishes the effectiveness of companywide T&E policies and increases the rate of maverick spend. Without all internal functions on the same page, employees are more prone to conducting travel on their own accord rather than follow company policy. Centralized T&E management allows for more streamlined T&E activity and ensures that more business travelers are adhering to existing deals. While only one-third of all enterprise have established a centralized organization for broad oversight of T&E expense management, Best-in-Class companies are 67% more likely than their competitors to organize oversight centrally. Centralized management supports more effective enforcement of compliance because this group can actively monitor the execution of the different activities that are involved for management of the T&E category. Tactically, these various activities are managed on a day-to-day basis by different departments such as finance, procurement and, of course, corporate travel (Figure 8), so it is especially critical that a central management and oversight structure be employed.
15 Page 15 Figure 8: Oversight of T&E Processes 18% 15% 10% 34% Travel planning & booking mgmt 6% 26% 14% 6% 11% 49% 36% 8% Expense reporting & mgmt 11% 12% Corporate card program mgmt 6% 10% 38% 37% 38% 41% 5% 17% 58% 6% 5% Receipt mgmt Employee reimbursement Auditing "A majority of our employees understand the need for strong T&E policies and procedures. We use strong expense and demand management reporting to review T&E expenses and deal with maverick spend. We anticipate huge process and personnel efficiencies from automating the T&E process." ~ Vice President, Procurement, Large Financial Services Enterprise Corporate Travel Finance Procurement Accounts Payable HR / Admin To ensure that processes and policies are followed by travelers and also that the various stakeholders involved work together effectively it is beneficial to have executive support. Such support bolsters adoption of tools, policies, and other initiatives to more effectively manage T&E by delivering the message from the top down in the organization. Best-in-Class companies are 10% more likely than all others to establish executive support for T&E initiatives. Knowledge Management The Best-in-Class are two- to 5.5-times more likely to regularly communicate and educate their employees about corporate T&E policies, including updating them on any changes to processes and policies. Regular communication and education strengthens the foundation for compliance. Each employee, whether they travel or not, is aware of the corporate policies and also the consequences of being non-compliant to these polices. The additional benefit of awareness is that business travelers are then knowledgeable about the tools and services at their disposal and the discounts that are available, leading to lower expense costs and also lower transaction costs because the proper channels are used for travel booking and expense reporting. Policy communication and education sets the stage for compliance. Following the correct protocol also subsequently results in a higher volume of data from the various sources and technologies in use. Accurate collection of data from all sources enables an enterprise to identify any areas of potential spend aggregation so that higher discounts can be negotiated. The discount secured for each type of T&E spend is directly related to volume, therefore, the discount rates in Figure 9 are presented by company size.
16 Page 16 Figure 9: Discounts by Company Size 14.3% 8.6% 15.7% 10.2% 15.0% 10.9% 9.5% 6.4% Airfare Hotels Car Rentals M.I.C.E or Strategic Meetings 5.2% Rail 3.2% "T&E management is a high priority out our company because our spending is pretty significant. We've been able to get visibility to get lower rates and also lower transaction costs. On top of it all, productivity has also increased." ~ Director, Corporate Travel, Large Pharmaceutical Enterprise Large (Revenues > $1 billion) Midsize (Revenues $50 million to $1 billion) Technology There are various T&E technologies and services employed by companies to streamline their processes and drive compliance to corporate polices. Each of these tools provide information and data that enable visibility into T&E spend and allows an enterprise to determine how compliant they are to processes and corporate agreements. Best-in-Class enterprises are able to drive performance and distinguish themselves by leveraging specific functions and features as part of their T&E solutions and services: Utilizing the auditing feature in an expense management and reporting solution is 38% more likely to occur in Best-in-Class enterprises than in the Industry Average and Laggards. This enables leading performers to actively monitor the expense reports submitted for instances of non-compliance to corporate polices and also helps them identify cases of fraud. In each case, the result is savings on expenses as the proper reimbursement rules can then be applied. The Best-in-Class are 11% more likely to deploy an on-demand solution. The advent of on-demand solutions in the T&E space helps mitigate much of the cost associated with installing and maintaining a solution behind an enterprise firewall. Additionally, an on-demand model of delivery allows solutions to be more easily and readily configured to meet specific needs. Offline access is a feature that has been leveraged by Best-in-Class 10% to 78% more frequently than by Industry Average and Laggard enterprises. Business travelers are not always able to establish or maintain a connection so being able to manage their expenses in a compatible offline environment provides flexibility and improves efficiency; there is no longer a need to wait to get back to the office to manage expense reports. "Employees feel it (technology) has simplified and improved the process compared to the paper days. We've definitely seen reduced administrative time and costs." ~ Finance Manager, Large Insurance Enterprise
17 Page 17 Leveraging technology not only yields financial gains in the form of lower transaction and processing costs and higher discounts, but also improves employee efficiency and productivity by reducing the amount of time employees spend to complete and expense report. Research participants noted that the time taken to complete an expense report was 15 minutes when done electronically compared to 28 minutes when engaging in a manual / paper-based process, representing a 46% improvement and compelling case for automation. Performance Management While gathering data and information is important, it is even more critical to act on that data. Best-in-Class companies are 48% more likely to leverage T&E data to track policy compliance. This has led directly to their superior performance for compliance. Perhaps just as important, the Best-in-Class are 28% more likely to utilize T&E data and information to address problems and improve travel policies. This shows that the Best-in-Class are not merely resting on their higher performing laurels but are constantly seeking ways to maintain their performance lead. Aberdeen Insights Corporate Cards and T&E Corporate cards are the most frequently used tool for T&E expense management (Figure 6). Use of corporate cards for T&E expenses ensures that a significant amount of spend data is consolidated and managed from a single source, while also allowing an enterprise to establish controls by setting expense or transaction limits and even determining who is or is not eligible to receive a card. Overall policy also dictates how effective a corporate card program is by establishing parameters on when the card is suppose to be used; 43% of enterprises require corporate cards to be used for all business expenses. The Best-in-Class have leveraged the corporate card program more effectively than their peers for T&E expenses, demonstrating a higher rate of adoption and use of the corporate card by business travelers that has resulted in 12% more T&E spend being placed on these cards (Figure 10). Figure 10: Corporate Travelers Using Corporate Card 72% 61% 47% Best-in-Class Average Laggard
18 Page 18 Case Study Efficiency Through Automation JMP Group is a mid-sized, full-service investment banking and asset management company that employs more than 200 people, a majority of whom travel extensively. However, expense reporting was managed through a manual process until recently. Championed by the CFO, an ondemand solution was deployed in September 2007 to improve T&E management performance and remove paper from the process. Prior to automating their expense reporting process, all review of expenses, coding for client billing, and input into the financial system was conducted by the accounting department. This review routinely tied up at least 2 people for 3 to 4 days at a time. Such a process was required because business travelers submitted expense reports with little standardization of expense descriptions and / or client names and those approving expenses were unable to allocate adequate time to sift through the piles of expense reports placed on their desks to ensure accuracy and compliance with policies. The automated solution chosen has alleviated much, if not all of the organizational burden placed on the accounting department, the approvers, and the submitters alike, leading to savings on accounting headcount as well as the bottom-line, and the ability to allocate resources to other value-add tasks. Adoption was almost immediate due to the ease of use of the tool and compliance with company polices has increased dramatically. The ability to utilize built-in and custom reports has been a tremendous help with reporting requirements and billing is also significantly more accurate.
19 Page 19 Chapter Three: Required Actions Enterprises must evaluate their current T&E management strategies and encourage transformation to match the performance of Best-in-Class organizations. The following actions will help spur the necessary performance improvements. Laggard Steps to Success Centralize the management of T&E programs. Laggard organizations are noticeably deficient in establishing compliance to corporate T&E policies, with rates that are nearly half those of the Best-in-Class. Part of the issue is the lack of a centralized management and oversight structure, which only 23% of Laggard enterprises currently have in place. A central organization that oversees T&E expenses and related processes facilitates easier collection of data easier, more effective communication of policy updates, and improves monitoring of compliance. In many cases, the execution of different T&E processes and the aggregation and reporting of data is tactically managed by different groups within the enterprise and the extent to which this effort can be aggregated, the better the intelligence and visibility. Secure an executive sponsor for travel management programs. The first step in overhauling a T&E program is securing an executive sponsor, which only 66% of Laggard enterprises have done (as compared to 83% of Best-in-Class organizations). Such support sets the stage for a successful T&E management program; executive support ensures that all aspects of the program will be aligned with the enterprise's needs and the top-down leadership facilitates change management and adoption of new practices. Regularly communicate and educate employees on corporate T&E polices and process. Awareness is a critical driver of compliance. As employees are educated about the key tools and services available to them and the proper way and time to leverage them, compliance will be more readily maintained and grown. As travelers become more efficient and knowledgeable about T&E policies and procedures, the company will realize transaction and processing cost savings, see improved productivity, and lower overall T&E expenses that have to reimbursed because discounts and preferred suppliers are being used. The Best-in-Class are 2.3-times more likely than all other companies to regularly communicate and educate employees about corporate T&E policies, including updates and changes. Use direct deposit for all employee reimbursements. Laggards are 19% to 38% less likely to utilize direct deposit for executing reimbursement of T&E expenses. Yet using this method, Fast Facts 83% of Best-in-Class enterprises have secured executive support for T&E initiatives 71% of Best-in-Class company travelers use a corporate card to manage T&E expenses The Best-in-Class are 55% more likely to utilize offline capabilities of their expense management and reporting solutions than all others "T&E systems have impacted the company for the better but getting management to agree that we need to change is a little difficult." ~ Director, Finance, Education Organization
20 Page 20 once expenses are approved through the system, the direct deposit is made soon after, which allows for faster reimbursement to the employee, and costs less. Industry Average Steps to Success Improve utilization of corporate cards. While 61% of industryaverage travelers use a corporate card for their T&E expenses, this figure remains, incrementally, 18% behind Best-in-Class levels of adoption and utilization. A corporate card is effective in capturing a higher percentage of spending data, and depending on the corporate card provider, there is access to fairly-detailed data (e.g., line-item charges for hotels). This type of data, when integrated with an expense management system, can pre-populate expense reports, making the process simpler and quicker for employees. Leverage T&E expense and travel data for compliance. Information is useless unless it is acted upon. Best-in-Class enterprises are 38% more likely to utilize T&E data to address compliance issues. However, it is compliance that lays the foundation for effective T&E management program performance. The risk of lower compliance rates represents a variety of inefficiencies in T&E program management and administration. Ignoring preferred supplier lists or corporate policies for booking trips or submitting expense reports result in missed savings on discounts and higher costs. Leveraging T&E data to monitor and improve compliance plays a key role in achieving more comprehensive control over T&E spend. Strategically source T&E categories. Best-in-Class companies are 23% more likely to source the different categories of T&E such as airlines, hotels, rental cars / car service, and rail travel. However, unless compliance to these agreements is established and maintained, any negotiated savings will be lost. Improving compliance ensures that the proper suppliers are being used for flights, hotels, rental cars, etc. Subsequently, improved compliance will result in higher volumes with specific suppliers; this information can then be used during negotiations as part of the sourcing efforts. "Technology has removed human element and allowed us to be consistent in the monitoring of compliance. We can actually go to reports and find out when and who went off policy." ~ Director, Supply Chain, North American Retail Company Best-in-Class Steps to Success Provide flexibility for end-users that need online, ondemand, and offline access. Best-in-Class companies are over 55% more likely to utilize a fully automated solution for expense management and are 11% more likely elect an on-demand deployment. Moving the expense reporting process to a more electronic environment results in an average time to complete an expense report that is 47% lower than if the process was manual / paper-based. However, business travelers often spend a significant amount of time disconnected from their company's T&E solutions.
21 Page 21 Therefore, it is also beneficial to have offline access to expense reports. Best-in-Class enterprises currently utilize offline functionality 28% more frequently than all others. Such a strategy establishes flexibility for the end-user by providing multiple avenues for access. Aberdeen Insights Standardized corporate T&E policies have proven to be a distinguishing characteristic of Best-in-Class enterprises, but there is an additional side to this capability that must be taken into account. As enterprises expand their operations and relationships beyond the borders of their corporate headquarters, they must also educate themselves on the differences in regulations, culture, and travel practices. In consideration of these regional differences, standardization may have to take on a more fluid definition. Companies should assess what policies and processes can be universally implemented and pay careful attention to how and when policies must be modified. The underlying corporate culture valuing compliance to corporate T&E policies is still a fundamental need that is readily enabled by executive support of T&E programs, but a recognition that policy and program standardization may take place on a regional level must also be part of the long-term view of improvement in T&E management.
22 Page 22 Appendix A: Research Methodology In April 2008, Aberdeen examined the use, the experiences, and the intentions of more than 160 enterprises in regards to their T&E expense management programs. Aberdeen supplemented this online survey effort with interviews with select survey respondents, gathering additional information on meetings management strategies, experiences, and results. Responding enterprises included the following: Job title: Thirty-three percent (33%) of respondents are managers; directors (27%); C-level (17%); vice president (9%); staff, consultants, and others (14%). Job function: The research sample includes respondents with the following job functions: procurement, supply chain, or logistics (34%); finance (18%); sales and marketing (10%); business process management (6%); and others. Industry: The research sample includes respondents from: high tech / software (21%); finance (16%); manufacturing (8%); and 28 other industries. Geography: The majority of respondents (70%) are from North America. Remaining respondents were from the Asia-Pacific region (11%), Europe (10%), Middle East / Africa (8%) and the South / Central America and Caribbean region (1%). Company size: Forty-five percent (45%) of respondents are from large enterprises (annual revenues above US $1 billion); 33% are from midsize enterprises (annual revenues between $50 million and $1 billion); and 22% of respondents are from small businesses (annual revenues of $50 million or less). Solution providers recognized as sponsors were solicited after the fact and had no substantive influence on the direction of this report. Their sponsorship has made it possible for Aberdeen Group to make these findings available to readers at no charge. Study Focus Responding executives completed an online survey that included questions designed to determine the following: The pressures, strategies, and organizational capabilities leveraged to effectively manage T&E activities and manage expenses The structure and effectiveness of existing T&E programs Current and planned use of T&E technologies and services to streamline current strategies The study aimed to identify emerging best practices T&E expense management, and to provide a framework by which readers could assess their own management capabilities.
23 Page 23 Table 4: The PACE Framework Key Overview Aberdeen applies a methodology to benchmark research that evaluates the business pressures, actions, capabilities, and enablers (PACE) that indicate corporate behavior in specific business processes. These terms are defined as follows: Pressures external forces that impact an organization s market position, competitiveness, or business operations (e.g., economic, political and regulatory, technology, changing customer preferences, competitive) Actions the strategic approaches that an organization takes in response to industry pressures (e.g., align the corporate business model to leverage industry opportunities, such as product / service strategy, target markets, financial strategy, go-to-market, and sales strategy) Capabilities the business process competencies required to execute corporate strategy (e.g., skilled people, brand, market positioning, viable products / services, ecosystem partners, financing) Enablers the key functionality of technology solutions required to support the organization s enabling business practices (e.g., development platform, applications, network connectivity, user interface, training and support, partner interfaces, data cleansing, and management) Table 5: The Competitive Framework Key Overview The Aberdeen Competitive Framework defines enterprises as falling into one of the following three levels of practices and performance: Best-in-Class (20%) Practices that are the best currently being employed and are significantly superior to the Industry Average, and result in the top industry performance. Industry Average (50%) Practices that represent the average or norm, and result in average industry performance. Laggards (30%) Practices that are significantly behind the average of the industry, and result in below average performance. In the following categories: Process What is the scope of process standardization? What is the efficiency and effectiveness of this process? Organization How is your company currently organized to manage and optimize this particular process? Knowledge What visibility do you have into key data and intelligence required to manage this process? Technology What level of automation have you used to support this process? How is this automation integrated and aligned? Performance What do you measure? How frequently? What s your actual performance? Table 6: The Relationship Between PACE and the Competitive Framework PACE and the Competitive Framework How They Interact Aberdeen research indicates that companies that identify the most influential pressures and take the most transformational and effective actions are most likely to achieve superior performance. The level of competitive performance that a company achieves is strongly determined by the PACE choices that they make and how well they execute those decisions.
24 Page 24 Appendix B: Related Aberdeen Research Related Aberdeen research that forms a companion or reference to this report include: Travel and Procurement: The Convergence; October 2007 Travel & Entertainment Technologies and Services: Overcoming Obstacles Through Data Insight; May 2007 Expense Management Automation: Process Efficiency, Greater Visibility; February 2007 The CFO's View of Procurement; November 2007 The CPO's Strategic Agenda: Managing Performance, Reporting to the CFO; February 2007 Information on these and any other Aberdeen publications can be found at Aberdeen s 2007 Global Supply Management Research Agenda is also available. Subscribe to the Global Supply Management RSS FEED at: Authors: William Browning III, Research Analyst, Global Supply Management Christopher J. Dwyer, Research Editor, Global Supply Management Since 1988, Aberdeen's research has been helping corporations worldwide become Best-in-Class. Having benchmarked the performance of more than 644,000 companies, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to provide organizations with the facts that matter the facts that enable companies to get ahead and drive results. That's why our research is relied on by more than 2.2 million readers in over 40 countries, 90% of the Fortune 1,000, and 93% of the Technology 500. 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 or call (617) , or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) or go to This document is the result of primary research performed by Aberdeen Group. Aberdeen Group's methodologies provide for objective fact-based research and represent the best analysis available at the time of publication. Unless otherwise noted, the entire contents of this publication are copyrighted by Aberdeen Group, Inc. and may not be reproduced, distributed, archived, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written consent by Aberdeen Group, Inc.
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