The survey, of nearly 800 senior managers across a wide range of industry sectors, found that 30% of organisations surveyed did not make an expense policy document available to employees and 70% of organisations surveyed still rely on a paper-based expenses process.
On average, only17% of those surveyed are using software-based expenses management solutions, with a further 8% submitting their expenses by email. 3% of organisations surveyed do not reimburse expenses.
Companies in the financial services sector were the most likely to make an expense policy document available to employees, and were the most likely to have implemented a software-based expenses management solution (35%).
The survey also found that 26% of organisations are planning to amend their policy on claiming on travel, hotel and meals expenses because of the credit crunch. The survey also found that 21% are planning to downsize, 18% are cutting back on HR and recruitment, 15% are reducing the number of face-to-face meetings, 14% are putting their growth plans on hold and 6% are cutting back on marketing.
However, despite cutbacks, 69% were positive about their company’s prospects over the next two years. An additional 8% were very positive, while only 22% were negative.
“It’s clear that there is an opportunity for organisations to reduce their travel and entertainment spend and the costs associated with processing expense claims,” said James Brewis, Managing Director of WebExpenses. He continued, “Our experience tells us that headcount and accounts receivable are typically the first areas of focus in the face of a downturn and that travel and entertainment are often part of the second wave of cost saving initiatives. The best expenses management solutions are quick and inexpensive to put in place and save staff in the field a lot of time, so they represent a quick and simple cost saving tool in that is more relevant than ever in the current environment. “