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Last Updated : Oct 07, 2019 07:08 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Travel and entertainment costs are the second largest controllable expense in a company: AmEx

Small and mid-sized companies are eager to manage their growing expenses, but often lack the buying power of larger companies in negotiating discounts with suppliers

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With the steady rise of business travel in India, managing company-wide travel and entertainment (T&E) expenses effectively is becoming increasingly important for corporations.

T&E expenses are the second largest controllable expense in a company and typically include among other things, expenditure on air travel, hotel stay, restaurant charges and car rentals, said Manish Kapoor, Vice President-Global Commercial Services, American Express (AmEx) in an interview.

Excerpts:

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Q. Business travel in India is one of the highest in the world. In this scenario, how important is travel and expense management in maintaining the financial health of a company?

A. India is today the seventh largest business travel market globally and is projected to be amongst the top five travel markets by 2022. In fact, India’s annual growth in business travel spend is 11.4 percent, the highest among the top 15 business travel markets globally. (Source: Global Business Travel Association).

With the steady rise of business travel in India, managing company-wide travel and entertainment (T&E) expenses effectively is becoming increasingly important for corporations. T&E expenses are the second largest controllable expense in a company and typically include among other things, expenditure on air travel, hotel stay, restaurant charges and car rentals.

T&E expense management solutions enable companies to have better control and visibility over their operating expenses by providing detailed spend analytics on corporate-wide spending, which forms the basis for negotiating volume discounts with vendors and suppliers. T&E expense management solutions also provide adequate controls to automatically monitor, track and approve expenses and lays out clear travel guidelines and policy issues that prevent compliance related issues, leading to better financial health of the company.

American Express (AmEx) through its corporate card programme works with leading corporations around the world to streamline and efficiently manage their travel and entertainment related expenses.

Q. How does Amex help companies in efficiently managing their travel and entertainment expenses?

A. American Express is a global leader in commercial payments-we serve 3.4 million businesses and 14.5 million card members in over 200 countries, from small and mid-sized businesses to the largest global companies. To meet the needs of our customers, we offer a diverse suite of expense management products and solutions that include solutions for T&E management. Leading corporations globally use our T&E expense management program to deliver savings on travel and related expenses by up to 9 percent.

With the steady rise of business travel in India, businesses are seeking greater control around T&E spend and have a sharper focus on compliance and data-driven insights that allow them to prevent out-of-policy spend and make smarter, more strategic decisions.

Q. The concept of managed travel expenses is rare among small and medium (SMEs) in India. How can such solutions help them achieve better growth especially as they scale up?

A.For any business, managing expenses is as important as growing its revenue-especially for small and mid-sized businesses. Small and mid-sized companies are eager to manage their growing expenses, but often lack the buying power of larger companies in negotiating discounts with suppliers. T&E expense management solutions function as an effective tool to help SMEs achieve significant direct and indirect savings. The corporate card represents a complete business payment solution, with benefits that include streamlined payment processing, extended payment terms and real bottom line savings that help SMEs drive greater savings and efficiency.

Q. How is American Express’s corporate cards portfolio performing in India?

A. American Express is the leading Commercial Card issuer globally with strategic relationships with more than 60% of the global fortune 500 companies. In India, we work with over ten thousand large corporates and MSMEs to streamline their purchasing, simplifying reporting and reconciliation processes.

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First Published on Oct 7, 2019 07:06 pm
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