Source: Andrew Bartolini, Publisher of CPORising.com
Editor’s Note: Today’s article is a preview of a new research report written by Ardent Partners and sponsored by Certify Software, a provider of travel and expense management technology. Click here to download a complimentary edition of the research report, which highlights the evolution of the expense management industry and tracks the impact of analytics and business intelligence in managing this complex spend category.
Business travel is often seen as an unfortunate cost within the corporate world. Executives must travel to lead and manage, sales must travel the globe to spark new business development or cultivate existing client relationships, and worldwide, on any given day, a conference or symposium is occurring that draws professionals from around the globe. In order to gain competitive advantages and expand the company’s business and global reach, business travel is a must.
The business travel category has long been a growing spend category, and shows no signs of slowing down. Although the category faced a slight halt during the economic downturn of the late 2000s, in the years afterward, it grew to new heights as one of the top complex spend categories, alongside contingent labor, marketing services and materials, and meetings and events.
A “new era” of travel and expense management has arrived due to a few evolutionary aspects within the industry, such as the uptick in utilization of expense management software, the arrival of alternative booking options, a newfound reliance on mobile applications, and an overarching dependence on Big Data-led strategies. With all of the above items now comprising the world of travel and expense, this new era must be centered on gaining visibility into spend, suppliers, impact, and other key attributes of the space while also cultivating an environment where intelligence is a top differentiator for success.
A new research report by Ardent Partners and sponsored by expense management automation provider Certify Software (available here for download) highlights the evolution of this industry and points to several factors necessitating the utilization of analytics, reporting, and business intelligence tools to:
- Improve overall visibility into travel- and expense-related spending.
- Identify potential instances of expense fraud (and take the correct steps to mitigate future risks).
- Understand how new sources of business travel bookings (such as Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, etc.) are impacting the company’s travel and expense management program, and;
- Enhance compliance with corporate business travel policies and guidelines.
The new research study also includes a four-point “intelligence plan” for assisting businesses in driving better visibility. This plan has been designed for those organizations seeking to transform their business intelligence and visibility initiatives, and each step was developed to assist enterprises in developing a strategic set of capabilities that can easily be leveraged (and repeated) to gain the necessary visibility into the business travel and expense management category.