89% of finance managers welcome an AI-powered future for expense management solutions

London, UK – March 30, 2023 – American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT), the world’s leading B2B travel platform releases latest findings from a survey of finance leaders conducted by Neo, Amex GBT’s integrated travel and expense management platform.

A new world of work, and expenses

The study finds that new hybrid working models and the current economic landscape are significantly impacting the way large businesses approach travel and expenses (T&E). More than 90% say it has affected the process in some way. More scrutiny on expenses and more rapidly made claims (both at 41%) vie for top spot of impacts of hybrid work. A large majority of finance managers (69%) expect to see an increase in fraudulent claims being made because of the current economic situation.

Some things haven’t changed – T&E is still seen as a necessary cost by 57% of respondents and 40% see it as a key enabler to their company’s growth, similar to results reported by Neo in 2019. Unsurprisingly, cost cutting is flying up the priority list for businesses and 76% of finance teams agree that expense policies could be used to cut costs without cutting travel.

‘Intervention free’ T&E as a driver for employee satisfaction

As a result, large businesses are turning to advanced digital solutions to speed up and improve the accuracy and reliability of expense management.

A huge 89% of finance decision makers say they trust AI to support T&E management and more than a third (34%) even trust it to detect issues without any human intervention. In fact, the majority (65%) of those asked expect T&E to become intervention free in the future.

The top two reasons finance managers would be swayed to change T&E management are a better employee user experience (nearly a third) and faster end-to-end processing time (26%). A sharp focus on employee engagement is also clear with over a third of respondents (36%) claiming it is one of their highest priorities for 2023, just behind cost control (45%).

Meaningful and responsible travel will be higher priority than balance sheet

Looking ahead, priorities for finance decision makers are set to shift even further beyond cost savings. For example, 64% of respondents said the amount of carbon emitted during a business trip would be considered more important than how much it costs. Meanwhile, 71% agreed that using travel to strengthen relationships would also be more important than lower costs.

Sebastien Bardin, Neo’s VP Product, said: “Businesses are not shying away from technology and integrated booking and expense systems to help them drive compliance in their travel programs. 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. This is what we focus on every day at Neo.”

More insight on the Neo expense management survey is available here.

Survey Methodology

Online survey of 1,202 finance managers in companies with more than 5000 employees, across the UK, USA, France and Germany.