NEW AMERICAN EXPRESS SERVICE TAKES THE EXPENSE OUT OF EXPENSE REPORT PROCESSING; SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS OFFERED TO CORPORATIONS
NEW AMERICAN EXPRESS SERVICE TAKES THE EXPENSE OUT OF EXPENSE REPORT
PROCESSING; SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS OFFERED TO CORPORATIONS
NEW YORK, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- American Express today announced a new service to corporations that dramatically reduces the cost of expense report processing, providing its corporate clients with significant net savings in their travel and entertainment (T&E) administration costs.
The new offering, Expense Management Services (EMS), also streamlines the expense reporting process for business travelers.
"This is a unique service that cures the headache of expense reporting," said Roger H. Ballou, president of the American Express Travel Services Group, in announcing the development. "The company will save money, and the traveler will appreciate simpler reporting, quicker reimbursement and easier reconciliation of charges to expenses."
EMS will be marketed to large companies that are American Express(R) Corporate Card clients. The American Express Corporate Card is the leading charge card for business, with 88 of the Fortune 100 companies using the program.
EMS is available in two basic versions:
-- On-line -- expense reports are prepared and approved by company travelers or central staff, who enter T&E data into the EMS system through a telecommunications link from their terminals or personal computers to American Express.
-- Off-site -- simplified paper expense reports are prepared and approved by company employees and then sent to American Express for entry into the system. A mix of the two versions is also possible.
How EMS Saves Companies Money
Savings are realized from EMS in four key areas:
-- Expense report processing costs. Companies spend $16 on average to process a report, according to the American Express 1991 Survey of Business Travel Management. Significant cost savings can result from American Express taking over this task.
-- Float savings on reimbursable charges. Companies remit a single monthly payment to American Express, rather than reimbursing travelers individually immediately after each trip. Savings on the float of this money can be the equivalent of a half percent of total T&E expenses, based on an average 19-day improvement. Additional float savings are possible if cash advances are handled through the American Express Corporate Card.
-- Reimbursement check issuance to travelers. Costs, averaging $10 per check, are significantly reduced since the company makes only one payment to American Express. This handles the reimbursement task, since American Express credits each traveler's Corporate Card account and reimburses separately for cash expenses.
-- Increased travel policy compliance. There are additional savings from automated auditing, easier policy compliance enforcement, and the availability of more detailed data.
The yearly savings can equal several percentage points of total T&E spending, said Ballou. For example, a company with $50 million in annual spending charged to 10,000 cards could save over $1.6 million.
How EMS Helps the Business Traveler
For the traveler, EMS offers a fast and reliable solution to the hassle of preparing and reconciling reports. The traveler likes the easy-to-use reporting format, and the fact that EMS minimizes mistakes, which reduces the chance the expense report will be returned. It also speeds the reimbursement process.
Travelers can call the EMS Help Desk, which is ready to answer questions, solve problems, and inform travelers of the status of the report. The percentage of expense reports returned for corrections is less than 3 percent with EMS, compared to an industry range of 10-25 percent.
In addition, expense report details are included right on the traveler's monthly Corporate Card billing statement. Consequently, "Expense report reconciliation is easier than balancing one's checkbook," said Ballou.
Conceived in 1987 in partnership with GE Aerospace, EMS is one example of how American Express has developed solutions through long- term alliances with clients.
The fee for EMS, which is based on the number of expense reports processed and the number of service options selected, ranges from $3-12 per report.
American Express Travel Management Services, which includes the American Express Corporate Card and Business Travel Services, assists companies in managing and controlling their business travel expenses. It is a unit of American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Express Company -- a family of travel, financial and communications businesses.
/CONTACT: Christine Levite of American Express, 212-640-3382/ CO: American Express Travel Related Services Company Inc. ST: New York IN: LEI FIN SU: PDT FC-TM -- NY029 -- 0428 01/16/92 10:46 EST