USA vs Europe

Managing expense reports: the different levels of maturity

If we can notice a clear increase in expense reports spending on both American and European continents, practices and habits in terms of expense reports management remain very different. Let’s compare some relevant figures with this Traveldoo infography! 

Expense increases on both sides of the Atlantic

In the United States, spending on expense reports increased by 5.5% in 2017. It even got close to 8% in 2018. This was similar to the increases seen in Europe.

The additional services offered by hotels, airlines or car hire companies are now adversely affecting expenses. Costs for mobile phones and parking are also increasing. Another trend is the rise in prices for hotel services (bar, room service…) by 9% over the last three years.

Differences in size

In United States, expense report fraud amounts to between $100 and $499 (between 90 and 448 euros) per employee per year while in European companies, fraud averages 700 euros per employee per year.

Widespread restrictions appear to be discouraged. Implementing restrictions within travel policies is ultimately more detrimental, as this also leads to expense report fraud estimated at 2.2% of overall expenses.

The lack of automated tools for managing expense reports tends to drive employees to avoid the rules.

In the US., expense report processing is paperless in 84% of cases, however, 62% of receipts are still in paper format.

In Europe, expense report processing is paperless in 40% of cases and 81% of receipts currently exist in paper format.

Today, mobile applications allow the instantaneous integration of expense reports and automate all associated flows, regardless of where the employee is (taxis, trains, hotels…). It is an effective way to drastically reduce the potential for fraud.

Due to lack of information, many European companies do not recover foreign and local VAT on expense reports. In the European Union, this amounts to 7.5 billion euros per year and only 2.2 billion is repaid to companies. The loss in profits for businesses amounts to 5.5 billion euros. Automation is one answer to this problem.

Sources : : GBTA, Captio Society, AFCE (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners), Unit4.

expense reports management

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