No question: Technology has brought astonishing global progress in the travel and spend management space. But Europe has had to contend with a unique set of circumstances that have made cross-continental adoption more challenging.

Yet those circumstances have also made the rewards greater for companies that have streamlined their travel and expense process through automation. And let’s face it: Minimizing manual work and maximizing strategic vision is key to keeping pace with today’s competition.

Outlining those challenges and recommending solutions: That’s the focus of the BTN Group Europe white paper: Why a Modern Spend Management Platform is Essential for European Finance Execs In 2022.

The Unique T&E Issues Facing Europe

Regulatory and cultural considerations are often as different as each country in Europe, which has made the evolution of payment and expense solutions particularly challenging. After all, these solutions must cover all of the variances to be viable—from handling VAT to addressing nuances in travel policies.

For example, most companies that have a manual process for expense reporting and reimbursement fail to reclaim the VAT paid by their employees in foreign countries; the paperwork is simply too cumbersome.

But this is a problem with a solution, as the BTN Group Europe white paper makes clear: “You need a lot of time to sort out the receipts and work out which one is eligible for refund, and which one is not. It’s an extremely complicated rule and every country, even within the EU, has its own rules of which VAT they will refund and which one they won’t. With an expense management system, however, VAT reclaim is straightforward.”

See what other uniquely European issues a modern solution can help with: Download the white paper, Why a Modern Spend Management Platform is Essential for European Finance Execs In 2022.

Finding the Most Complete Solutions

The pandemic and its aftermath have been an opportunity for CEOs and finance leaders to reassess their priorities—and many see technology as the way to achieve growth. It’s why any manager looking for efficiencies should consider streamlining travel and expense management into one end-to-end solution. The BTN Group Europe white paper lists several benefits, including:

  • Central control or local autonomy. It’s easier to manage an expense process and data collection in organizations with a single system across all its sites than in those with decentralized decision making, where each site has its own processes and appoints its own suppliers.

  • Employee satisfaction and retention. Building up an expense claim automatically can cut the input time needed from both manager and employee by 80%.

  • Real-time visibility. Better insights into how budgets are spent will enable businesses to make smarter decisions and remain strong during challenging times.

Learn even more benefits of an end-to-end solution: Download the white paper, Why a Modern Spend Management Platform is Essential for European Finance Execs In 2022.

Of course, not all automated expense management systems are created equal. In fact, there is no shortage of limitations, as the BTN Group Europe white paper explains: “Many of these systems can successfully monitor a policy that puts ceilings on airfares, but not one built on class of travel. Expense systems alone just aren’t built to distinguish the class of travel that was purchased.”

This is one of the plusses of a system where the corporate travel policy—which covers issues such as allowable class of travel—is embedded in the platform. When that happens, the solution can display only the options available to each individual traveler, creating a seamless experience for both booking and expense.

What Success Looks Like

Proper insight into travel and expense spend not only allows for measuring the ROI of past travel. The data that an end-to-end system can offer will also inform future supplier negotiations and travel choices. This is especially important now, as Zoom meetings continue to thrive and companies struggle with business travel projections.

But many current systems simply look at the past, which doesn’t help with forecasting. According to the BTN Group Europe white paper: “Factors such as knowledge of future company strategy (for example, an acquisition target in Budapest is likely to increase travel to Hungary) and wider market trend data such as projected GDP growth significantly affect T&E forecasts.”

Having the most modern end-to-end travel and expense solution can seamlessly bring together all the necessary data sources to make more informed decisions.

The bottom line: The more automation, the better the quality of the data; the more manual involvement there is, the more opportunity for error.

Download the BTN Group Europe white paper to discover more of the benefits of an end-to-end expense management platform in Europe, and help your company remain competitive.