Dark Day for Accounts Teams As Employees File Last Minute Claims Before The Holidays
REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 21, 2010 -- Concur (Nasdaq: CNQR), a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions, has identified December 21st as the busiest day for submitting expense claims. Based on trends from thousands of companies using Concur’s technology, these findings show that the claims made on that single day – also the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year – were 132 per cent above the average as employees rush to recoup costs ahead of the holiday break. Concur’s data also revealed a 19 per cent increase in the number of expense claim submissions during the two weeks leading up to Christmas, adding to the huge pressure faced by accounting teams who are expected to process claims before they head off to enjoy the festivities.
One factor contributing to the increase in claims is the annual surge in client hospitality and office parties taking place over the holidays. However, many of those claims also represent pent-up costs incurred by employees on behalf of their companies in October and November that need to be processed before the year is up. And of course, as employees’ wallets begin to feel the pressure of buying presents and preparing for the festive period, these expense claims are suddenly prioritized as a way of recouping a few extra dollars to lessen the financial strain in the New Year.
“As holiday spending begins to erode personal bank account balances, it’s only natural for employees to look for ways in which to boost their cash flow”, says Michael Hilton, executive vice president of worldwide marketing for Concur. “Cue the Christmas expense rush, as employees everywhere dig through desk drawers and travel bags to find any forgotten receipts from three months previous and submit a claim. But what about those hard working folks in accounts payable who are trying to finish up for the festive season? Is it honestly fair that they work nights while everyone else enjoys holiday cheer? Thanks to out-dated expense processes, 21st December is once again set to be one of the longest days of the year for accounting.”
Concur’s data is based on expenses captured in its automated expense solution used by thousands of large and small companies across the world. Concur’s web-based and mobile solutions eliminate cumbersome aspects of the expense reporting process and enable the finance department to deal with the rush. However, the vast majority of companies still rely on archaic manual expense reporting systems based on spreadsheets and paper receipts, creating huge pressure for the accounting team.
“The benefit of an automated expense system is that it removes the hassle and heavy workload often placed on the finance department at this extremely busy time of the year. For example, you don’t have to worry about having the right paperwork and receipts stapled together. Credit card charges are automatically imported, and a quick camera phone captures the receipt image from any cash transaction, providing an online record that is much easier and more efficient for the employee and finance team to review, manage and track,” commented Hilton.