Certify Reveals the Year’s Most Common Employee Expenses

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Delta, Hilton, National Car Rental, Starbucks and trips to Chicago top the lists.

We’re seeing more expense report transactions per company than at any time in the past three years

Employee spending on travel and entertainment rose just over one percent in the past year, and declined somewhat after peaking mid-summer. According to data gathered by cloud travel and expense management software leader Certify, the average monthly expense report between August and November 2012 was $889, compared to $906 from April to July. The highest two-month average ($943) occurred in February and March, and the lowest ($864) was August and September. The late summer spending dip is consistent with Certify data from years past, as this is a popular time for employee vacations.

The latest research from Certify, based on receipts and expenses from over six million transactions between January and November, shines a spotlight on the nation’s top travel destinations and most popular restaurants, hotels, airlines and car rental services. The data is also an indicator of the nation’s economic health, as travel and entertainment expenses encompass 8-12% of the average company’s total budget, according to Aberdeen Group. That travel spending was up even slightly suggests companies are feeling more confident about their financial prospects.

“We’re seeing more expense report transactions per company than at any time in the past three years, with the general trend of more carefully managed employee spend per transaction,” said Robert Neveu, CEO at Certify. “Companies are willing to authorize employee expenses on policy compliant activities, but it’s clear that CFOs are more interested than ever in monitoring these transactions. Through this research we know how, when and where employees are spending corporate money, and we can help our clients make informed decisions about travel and expense management.”

Certify’s cloud software is used by tens of thousands of employees at small, midsize and large enterprises nationwide. The company has been tracking corporate travel and expense data since 2009, and its customers include Pitney Bowes, Subway Sandwiches, Little Caesars Pizza and Dr. Maartens Shoes. Certify is one of the only cloud software vendors that offers integrated travel booking, travel and expense management, and reimbursement in one system.

Following are some of the most popular employee expenses from 2012:

Most Expensed Restaurants

1. Starbucks – 20,084 transactions averaging $7.54
2. McDonalds – 12,419 transactions averaging $6.73
3. Subway – 8,627 transactions averaging $11.88
4. Panera Bread – 5,156 transactions averaging $19.12
5. Burger King – 4,091 transactions averaging $8.45

Most Expensed Airlines

  • Delta – 20,164 transactions averaging $474.25
  • United – 11,581 transactions averaging $492.42
  • Southwest – 10,713 transactions averaging $282.38
  • American – 8,856 transactions averaging $457.43
  • US Airways – 7,284 transactions averaging $348.96

Most Expensed Hotels

  • Hilton – 18,254 transactions averaging $270.55
  • Marriott – 12,979 transactions averaging $302.42
  • Holiday Inn – 9,366 transactions averaging $227.51
  • Choice Hotels – 4,716 transactions averaging $154.87
  • Starwood Hotels – 1,824 transactions averaging $331.62

Most Expensed Rental Car Services

  • National – 8,667 transactions averaging $182.71
  • Hertz- 7,868 transactions averaging $219.92
  • Enterprise – 7,858 transactions averaging $204.68
  • Avis – 3,824 transactions averaging $199.49
  • Budget – 1,674 transactions averaging $174.42

Most Expensed Cities

  • Chicago – 18,305 transactions
  • Houston – 17,108 transactions
  • Atlanta – 16,610 transactions
  • Dallas – 13,607 transactions
  • New York – 12,906 transactions

About Certify

Certify is the leading online travel and expense management solution for companies of all sizes. Organizations worldwide book travel and complete expense reports quickly, easily and cost effectively using Certify cloud and mobile applications. For more information about Certify, please call 207.773.6100 or visit http://www.Certify.com.

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