Inefficient Travel Expenditure Management Blamed for Operational Overheads

Organisations need to address challenges with their procure-to-pay processes to achieve efficiency, visibility and accountability on the management of travel expenditures.


A survey jointly conducted by Citi Transaction Services and Visa in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Taiwan, finds that the reduction of travel and entertainment (T&E) expenses would most effectively reduce an organisation’s operational costs.


The majority of respondents confirmed that the use of corporate credit cards for travel spend is not widely adopted. Less than half of those surveyed in the Philippines relied on this payment method, while respondents from Hong Kong and Taiwan, tend to rely on personal cards (38 percent) and electronic funds transfers (35 percent).


The reliance on such decentralized payment methods raises red flags on operational inefficiencies, as well as a lack of transparency and accountability on business travel expenditure.


These challenges are further compounded by the fact that almost 80 percent of organisations in the Philippines do not have parameters and policies in place to provide guidance on business T&E expenses to employees.


Over 60 percent of respondents in Hong Kong and Taiwan also echoed that while they rely on expense reports to manage travel expenditure, one of their concerns is that insufficient information or data prevents them from successfully trimming operational overheads.


The lack of an end-to-end visibility and control solution for complete traceability of travel expenses highlights a missing link to promoting good governance.


“The survey results from these sessions emphasized what our clients are looking for – more robust data, process efficiencies, controls on their spend and an over-arching need to reduce expenses. In dealing with multi-national and public-sector organisations globally, we have seen successful programs leverage on these key areas and derive tremendous value for their travel as well as procurement programs,” said Deven Somaya, Regional Product Head Wholesale Cards, Asia Pacific, Citi Transaction Services.


“With Asia Pacific being one of the fastest growing regions in the world, organisations are seeing the need to improve on their T&E expense management and are gaining greater awareness to the benefits of using commercial cards,” adds Pradeep Roy, Head of Commercial Prepaid, Risk and Loyalty Products,  Visa Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middle East and Africa.


Roy notes that having a commercial card payment program in place sets the tone for increasing transparency and accountability, which are important elements in promoting corporate responsibility and continued growth.


“Organisations can achieve cost savings by managing expenditure more effectively with Visa’s commercial payment solutions which allow organisations to make a seamless transition to  increased efficiency and greater control of their travel expenses,” adds Roy.


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