The amount companies are spending on business travel has risen over the past two years despite buyers under increasing pressure to cut costs.

A report published today found 58 per cent of employers spent more on travel in 2013 compared to 2012 and almost half are expected to do the same in 2014.

The study from travel and expense management firm Certify found 64 per cent of mid size and 63 per cent of large companies reported they will spend more on travel compared to 2013, while 42 per cent of small businesses said they will increase their spend.

 “If business travel is a barometer of the economy, these results are positive, showing that companies are loosening the reins on operational expenses,” said Certify CEO Robert Neveu.

“Most surprising was the level of investment of SMB companies, in which one third of US-based small companies are spending more than $50,000 annually on travel, while 41 per cent of US-based mid-sized firms are spending $500,000 and up.”

Pain points

Employees failing to submit reports on time was the top ‘pain point’ for all respondents, the study found. This was followed by employees losing receipts, length of time to approve reports and reviewing for policy violations.

The top pressure for improving travel management processes was cost reduction, followed by improving visibility into spend and the frequency of non-compliant expenses.

The study also found the majority of respondents are using web-based systems for expense management.

Certify’s annual expense management trends survey 2014 interviewed 1,338 CFOs and finance professionals.

Subscribe to the BBT Newsletter

Join the Buying Business Travel newsletter for the latest business travel news.

Thank you for signing up!