Find and gather receipts. Tape, staple and scan them. Input expenses details. Wait for payment. Let’s face it, filing expenses reports is a mundane and tedious process that most people dread. While technology has improved several administrative tasks, such as enabling us to book hotels and check in for flights via mobile apps, expenses reports have yet to achieve the same ubiquitous digital adoption.
Egencia, the business travel arm of the Expedia group, has delivered its first fully-integrated global travel and expense solution by partnering with expense software provider, Chrome River.
We first heard of the partnership plans in Feb-2017, however it wasn’t till Jul-2017 that the launch occurred. The basis of the Egencia expense management suite is an integrated travel and expense system which includes reporting capabilities intended to simplify the process for the user and organisation.
According to the 4th edition of Egencia’s Business Travel and Technology Survey, released in Jul-2017, 41% of global business travellers submit business travel expenses via paper forms. By comparison, 34% file via online expenses sites and 19% use mobile apps. Even more surprising is paper proved to be faster than filing online or via an app, though it is expected that this will be a short-lived trend thanks to the latest efforts by industry leaders to disrupt the outdated system. On average, the global business traveller spends 22 minutes filing expenses for a three-day trip, almost twice as long as they want to spend.
Even for those using expense solutions, the task may be complicated with multiple systems and logins needed, for example a separate one for the travel management tool, credit card account, and expense solution. Egencia believe they have solved this by using one login and one data source for everything. Global expense provider Chrome River is the first Egencia partner to offer this solution, with 29 other partners also signed up, including Microsoft, Coupa, MobileXpense, and Expensify, allowing for simplified data transfers between them.
Egencia president Rob Greyber, said: “The difference between a good travel programme and a great one is choice. We designed an open solution to let our customers choose the expense management tool they want. Then we improve on that by giving users access directly from the Egencia platform, turning the chore of filing expenses into a simple click of a button. The result is seamless. Users can have an expense system and a travel solution all in one place. The market reaction is very positive and we are happy that so many partners have joined us already.”