What if your organization could cut business travel expenses in half just by implementing expense management software? That’s what a new survey suggests, according to BusinessTravelNews.com.

Organizations that use expense management software spent an average of $1,414 per business trip, saving 27 percent over the survey average of $1,957. But a company that uses manual expense report methods like paper or Excel spreadsheets spends an average of $2,379 per trip, according to the survey.

In other words, organizations using expense management spend just over half of what those using manual processes spend on business travel.

The survey, by Runzheimer International, suggests that companies aren’t simply cutting back on travel. Based on information from 103 organizations in North America, the trend (especially in growth companies) is to spend more on business travel basics like transportation, food and hotels. The per-trip savings some companies see is coming from lower support costs.

So, why does expense management software make such a difference? Runzheimer suggests several key factors:

  1. Increased visibility in spending. Combining expense management software with analytics tools can deliver transparency around all your cost centers, making it easier for management to view trends and analyze your organization’s expense spending. This visibility leads to savings by facilitating effective decision-making and smooth day-to-day operations.
  2. Improved audit abilities. Every expense report program needs a second set of eyes to catch honest mistakes and eliminate fraud. Effective auditing uses automation rules to simplify the process, helping auditors to focus on expense claims that may need the most attention. A good software solution can analyze attributes of expense charges and the submitter, calculating an audit risk level that can automatically flag reports for additional review.
  3. Tighter policies. A software platform like Chrome River EXPENSE uses a business rules engine to ensure policy compliance. The software automatically monitors expense spending and compares claims to an organization’s defined policies before sending an expense claim to approvers.

In the end, the new survey offers a strong argument for implementing expense management solutions. And the more an organization spends on business travel, the more savings it can realize by making the switch. There's power in the expense report software you select.

We’d appreciate your thoughts on this survey. Why do you think expense management software makes such a difference in travel costs? Share your thoughts in the comments section!


Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care. Sally Abella, Director of Corporate Travel Harman International
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic. Ben Zastrow Zelle