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New Study Reveals Pain Points in Expense Reporting

On Average, Companies Spend Approximately Half A Million Dollars and 3,000 Hours Correcting Expense Reports Each Year

Frankfurt, Germany (10 November 2015) – Each year companies around the globe spend, on average, approximately half a million dollars and nearly 3,000 hours correcting errors in expense reports, according to a new study that identified pain points in expense reporting. The average cost to to process an expense report for a single night hotel stay is $58, however 19 percent of expense reports contain errors or missing information costing an additional $58 and 18 minutes to correct each expense report.



While the costs for processing expense reports present the greatest challenge to company time and money, travel buyers identified the beginning steps of preparing an expense report as the most troublesome including setting up the expense report (24 percent), entering the data (33 percent) and attaching receipts (37 percent).


Seven in ten (70 percent) travel buyers currently process expense reports internally using third-party software, two in ten (19 percent) process expense reports internally without the help of third-party software and four percent outsource this process entirely. Half of travel buyers at companies internally processing expense reports without third-party software find setting up expense reports (49 percent), entering the data (54 percent) and attaching receipts (55 percent) as a major pain point.


These findings come from a new study, Expense Reporting: Global Practices and Pain Points, conducted by the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association, and sponsored by HRS Global Hotel Solutions. The study findings will be presented today at a Centre Stage session during GBTA Conference 2015 Frankfurt in partnership with VDR.


“This study sought to identify pain points and areas for improvement in the expense reporting process so companies can find ways to improve efficiency saving money, time and resources,” said Joseph Bates, GBTA Foundation Vice President of Research. “With the rapid introduction of new financial products in the business travel industry, companies should continually evaluate their existing practices and business needs to ensure they are working as efficiently and cost-consciously as possible.”


“Corporates are often focused solely on the direct costs, for example the price for flights, accommodation or ground transportation. However optimizing the expense reporting process offers a huge potential for savings. Key is an automated and digital process, which eliminates the need for manual data entries or the attachment of paper receipts,” explains Tobias Ragge, CEO of HRS.


Global Differences in Expense Reporting Practices


• Travel buyers in North America (86 percent) and Asia-Pacific (84 percent) most often use an expense reporting software, while Latin American travel buyers report using such software at a much lower rate (60 percent). Instead, they are much more likely to use another computer program to submit their expense reports (50 percent, compared to 22 percent of the total). Alternatively, travel buyers in Europe (35 percent), led mostly by Germany (45 percent), are most likely to submit paper expense reports.

• With receipts, submitting paper receipts remains the most popular method (63 percent), particularly in Europe (81 percent) and Latin America (71 percent). The exception is North America, where majorities of travel buyers report submitting receipts via scanned images (84 percent), electronically (62 percent) and using their smart phone (61 percent).


The study, Expense Reporting: Global Practices and Pain Points, is available exclusively to GBTA members by clicking here and non-members may purchase the report through the GBTA Foundation by emailing
HRS is the global hotel solutions provider and offers its more than 40,000 corporate customers worldwide a variety of tools and services free of charge, which cover the whole value chain for the entire hotel booking process – from hotel procurement, over booking transactions and innovative payment solutions to the transmission of relevant data for the analysis of accommodation expenses. HRS individually looks after its customers and develops tailored solutions that allow expense savings, increase employee satisfaction and facilitate travel management. Intelligent end-to-end solutions for conference and group bookings complete the offered services for companies.


With more than 290,000 hotels in 190 countries, HRS offers a big selection of hotels worldwide. These include, among hundreds of hotel chains, also roughly 170,000 privately held hotels. HRS is the only provider with access to all major global distribution systems (GDS) and with 5 million rooms available in the GDS, the largest provider of independent hotel content in the world. Hundreds of Hotel Sales Managers in more than 50 countries contribute with their knowledge of the local market to a high availability of the hotels and an ideal customer service. Furthermore, corporate customers benefit from the HRS Business Tariff which is available in 40,000 hotels and offers up to 30 per cent discount off the daily online hotel price. The choice of hotels is facilitated by detailed hotel descriptions, meaningful photos and videos as well as about five million guest reviews. With more than 1,500 employees worldwide, the company based in Cologne, Germany, maintains branches in Nuremberg, Berlin, Innsbruck, Vienna, Zurich, New York, London, Paris, Rome, Milan, Barcelona, Istanbul, Warsaw, Prague, Budapest, Moscow, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo, Mumbai and São Paulo.


About the GBTA Foundation
The GBTA Foundation is the education and research foundation of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. Collectively, GBTA’s 7,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA provides its growing network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts with world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media. The Foundation was established in 1997 to support GBTA’s members and the industry as a whole. As the leading education and research foundation in the business travel industry, the GBTA Foundation seeks to fund initiatives to advance the business travel profession. The GBTA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For more information, see and


CONTACT:      Colleen Gallagher, +1 703-236-1133,




About the Global Business Travel Association
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) is the world’s premier business travel and meetings trade organization headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area with operations on six continents. GBTA’s 9,000-plus members manage more than $345 billion of global business travel and meetings expenditures annually. GBTA and the GBTA Foundation deliver world-class education, events, research, advocacy and media to a growing global network of more than 28,000 travel professionals and 125,000 active contacts. To learn how business travel drives lasting business growth,

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