Finance mangers across Europe and the US expect to see a rise in fraudulent travel and expenses (T&E) claims due to ‘the current economic landscape’, according to the latest research by American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT).
The online survey of more than 1,200 finance managers in companies with more than 5000 employees in the UK, US, France and Germany, found that 69 per cent anticipate an increase in fake expense claims as a result of inflationary pressure and new hybrid work models.
More than 90 per cent said flexible work and the current economic situation are impacting T&E processes.
Nevertheless, 57 per cent of survey respondents said T&E is still seen as a necessary cost and 40 per cent see it as a key enabler to their company’s growth, similar to results reported by Amex GBT in 2019.
The majority of respondents (89 per cent) said they trust AI to support T&E management and more than a third (34 per cent) even trust the technology to detect issues without any human intervention.
In fact, 65 per cent of respondents expect T&E to become ‘intervention free’ in the future.
Sebastien Bardin, VP product of Amex GBT’s Neo travel and expense management tool, said businesses are “not shying away from technology and integrated booking and expense systems” to help drive compliance in their travel programmes.
“When finance teams invest in upgrading to integrated T&E solutions, they expect intelligent systems powered by AI and great user experiences to drive adoption,” he added.
Current priorities for T&E managers include cost control (45 per cent of respondents) and employee engagement (36 per cent of respondents), however, moving forward, sustainability concerns may outweigh cost savings.
According to the survey, 64 per cent of respondents said the amount of carbon emitted during a business trip would be considered more important than how much it costs. Meanwhile, 71 per cent agreed that using travel to strengthen relationships would also be more important than lower costs.