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Hidden Costs Of Business Travel

24 April 2006

Hidden Costs Of Business Travel

Businesses are spending up to $100 on processing travel expense claims – a cost that is largely avoidable according to one of the world’s fastest growing business travel specialists.

An independent study by IBM Consulting (2004) found that in the US the average ‘cost per expense report processed’ - from completing individual reports through checking and manager approval to back-office processing and re-keying for payment - typically reaches NZ$100.

FCm Travel Solutions General Manager Christian Casbolt said for most businesses in New Zealand the individual costs were comparable to those in the US, but despite this the overall high cost of making expense claims remained an area often overlooked by management.

“Without an effective expense management system New Zealand businesses are throwing money away in drawn out expense claims.”

Mr Casbolt said FCm Travel Solutions had recently introduced a web-based expense management tool, ‘FCm eXpense’, which in many cases halved the costs of the expense claims process, but the challenge was getting more businesses to take advantage of the system.

“In larger organisations there can be a tendency to overlook costs that are incurred through a number of steps, but when these steps are rationalised there can be a very positive cost outcome.”

Mr Casbolt said the eXpense system, a first in New Zealand, was also being used by FCm Travel Solutions internally, with impressive results.

“All expenses go through a single process and for credit cards the data is pre-populated so cannot be changed. The margin for error is significantly reduced and it takes all the hassle of processing out of the hands of the individual, freeing them up to concentrate on their own work.”

Mr Casbolt said it was surprising more business weren’t utilising web-based expense management more, but he was hopeful that as more was understood about the true cost savings it could deliver, there would be a strong towards this type of systems.

“We’re educating New Zealand on the benefits, one business at a time.”


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