Business Travel, Expense and Invoice in 2018 and Beyond: SAP Concur’s Predictions

Advanced technologies will take personalized travel experiences even further

The business travel, expense and invoice landscape is experiencing a rapid evolution, fueled by emerging technologies, shifting employee expectations, and globalization. SAP Concur experts have taken a close look at the trends that will shape business and impact employees most in the coming year. Below are our predictions for 2018 and beyond.

Conventional expense reports won’t exist in a paperless world
As advanced technologies become further integrated into travel and spend management software, expense reporting will automatically happen in the background and save employees time to focus on business priorities.

OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and scanning recognition technologies will continue to eliminate manual expense reporting tasks, while paper receipts will become obsolete with the standardization of e-receipts, and countries like France, Spain, China and Japan deregulating paper receipt documentation and validation. Machine learning and automation advancements will also make it easier to spot patterns across data, leading to a decline in expense fraud.

In tandem, non-traditional payment technologies like Blockchain and vCards will fundamentally change the way transactions and reimbursements are handled, becoming the new norm for managed travel programs.
– Hendrik Vordenbaeumen, Vice President of Product Management, SAP Concur.

Preferences, predictive analytics, and personalization will change everything in business travel
“Technology is surpassing business travelers where they are and forecasting their next move. Predictive analytics will transform the traveler experience by anticipating, recommending and booking optimal travel itineraries based on past experiences, calendars, user profiles and preferred loyalty programs.

Advanced technologies will take personalized travel experiences even further with customized room temperature, amenities and entertainment preferences ready upon arrival. On top of that, virtual concierges will offer 24/7 assistance to book dinner reservations, reschedule meeting spaces and request rides.”
– John Dietz, Vice President, SAP Concur Labs.

Gain control with connected business travel
“There is a growing demand for end-to- end corporate travel solutions and that provide integrated booking, payments, risk management and expense reporting and management. With digital transformation becoming a business philosophy, Enterprises can strongly influence adoption of their preferred travel and expense platforms by enabling mobile interactivity and ease of use.

Business travellers often prefer to manage their journeys themselves through self-service technology, and a mobile traveller experience with seamless expense management from pre-trip to expense reporting can result in increased policy compliance.
- Neeraj Dotel, Managing Director, India and SAARC SAP Concur Technologies.

It is 10:00 pm and an incident or natural disaster has occurred somewhere in the world. Do you know where your traveling employees are? Could you determine in the next hour those who were impacted, safe or might need additional assistance?

In light of recent events and natural disasters, business traveler safety is a growing concern. When employees are traveling, the business is responsible for their well-being and safety, and yet GBTA found that nearly one in three travel managers do not know how long it would take their company to confirm the safety of every employee after an incident. This is a c-level responsibility and executives need to be assured their company can reach and account for their travelers during emergencies.

In the year ahead, we expect duty of care to remain at the top of c-level priorities. Businesses will continue scrutinizing their data, systems, processes and procedures to determine how they can improve their ability to locate and communicate with their employees when the unfortunate occurs.
– Mike Eberhard, President, SAP. Concur.

Invisible employee spending becomes visible (and manageable)
The most basic advantage for companies to take travel and expense to the cloud is to reduce the cost of operations. The traditional methods of capex investments, building your own solutions, and customising is not just complicated, is also consumes a lot of time and money. SAP Concur’s idea is to make travel and expense management easier.

Our innovative solutions improve customer experience for the modern business traveller. We integrate the process to give managers visibility, compliance and control over the expenses. It enables you to compare spend data, analyse cash flow and eliminate any errors. It’s not just about automation, we also care about the customer’s needs as well, understanding the relevancy of the approach to be taken.

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