REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As many employees get ready for their holiday break, company accountants are bracing for one of the most chaotic and costly times of the year. Concur (NASDAQ: CNQR), a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions, identified December 19 th as the busiest day for submitting expense reports in the U.S last year*. For the vast majority of businesses that haven't yet automated the expense reporting process, this means a tidal wave of T&E reimbursement requests overwhelming manual and paper-based expense reporting process. It also has an impact on a company's cash-flow and underscores a huge cost disparity between manual and automated processes.
A recent report by Aberdeen Group found that it costs the average U.S. company approximately $18 to process each expense report. This same study found that the cost drops below $8 per report in "best-practice" companies that have automated the process. Based on these findings and internal data, Concur estimates that U.S. companies are wasting more than $2 billion annually as a result of these inefficient manual processes. Companies interested in addressing this issue can learn more here.
As the year comes to a close and the holidays approach, employees are eager to wrap up unfinished business and receive reimbursement for out of pocket expenses. While increases in client and staff entertainment spending contribute to the holiday season surge in expense claim activity, many employees also wait until the last minute to claim expenses for business trips taken earlier in the year.
The impact of this tremendous spike in activity on U.S. businesses includes lost productivity from employees filing and processing their reports manually along with an unanticipated surge of dollars flowing out of their businesses. While employees are rushing to file their expense reports, accountants and finance departments are under pressure to process the large transaction volume ahead of the holiday season in advance of year end. The result is an end-of-year spike in expense report volume that is almost as predictable as the winter solstice. Unfortunately, the many businesses that have yet to automate this process lack proper visibility into their T&E spend and could be caught unaware of the coming onslaught of requests from employees for reimbursement.