American Express Corporate Services, the world’s largest corporate card and business travel services provider, today announced a strategic alliance with Portable Software Corporation, the worldwide leader in travel expense automation solutions based in Redmond, WA, to integrate Portable Software’s automated expense management system into its corporate travel product set for companies in the U.S. and around the world.
This alliance enables American Express Corporate Services to offer an integrated set of intranet-based travel management tools — from travel reservations to management reports to expense management — as part of RoundTrip Services(SM), a variety of products and services designed to help companies better manage travel and entertainment.
American Express will offer Portable Software’s Xpense Management Solution(TM) (XMS) in place of the Expense Manager software American Express developed for an e-mail platform, introduced in 1996.
The Xpense Management Solution, in use by more than 65 Fortune 1000 and multinational companies today, is an enterprise-wide solution that enables companies to reduce administrative costs by automating the entire T&E expense management process. XMS gives business travelers convenient access to electronic data, including information on charges to their American Express Corporate Cards. The software enables them to easily complete and file expense reports from their PCs and speeds reimbursement by seamlessly integrating with corporate accounting systems.
XMS will be the first enterprise expense management system to be released in a multi-platform Windows and intranet version in March of this year. Future versions of XMS will include additional enhancements for American Express Corporate Card customers and fully integrate with American Express’ AXI(SM) (American Express Interactive) corporate online travel reservation system, which was jointly developed with Microsoft Corporation.
“We’ve seen a dramatic shift in demand in recent months toward intranet-based T&E systems as companies took for ways to integrate travel booking with expense management in an easy-to-use application that employees can access any time, from any place,” said Mike Mulligan, Senior Vice President and General Manager, American Express Corporate Services Interactive group. “Portable Software’s XMS, integrated with AXI for trip booking, will enable us to meet this growing demand with an intranet-based solution that supports multiple languages, currencies and international expense practices.”
“We’re excited about working with the industry leader in corporate card programs,” said Steve Singh, President and CEO of Portable Software Corporation. “Many of our existing Fortune 1000 and multinational customers are American Express Corporate Card customers. This alliance will enable us to work with American Express to build in product features that fully leverage the advantages of an integrated end-to-end travel and expense management system.”
Controlling Corporate Travel Costs
Travel and entertainment (T&E) is typically a company’s third-largest controllable cost, and the average company spends an additional 5% of its annual T&E budget just processing the paperwork related to expense reports. A manual process costs the average company $36 per expense report, according to a recent in-depth American Express study. Automating the process can cut that cost to $8 or less and reduce the time employees spend per expense report from 55 minutes to 15 minutes or less.
By integrating XMS with American Express’ full array of RoundTrip Services, including Web-based travel booking system AXI and its traditional travel agency services, American Express offers companies a comprehensive way to ensure that corporate travel guidelines and negotiated rates are applied consistently, whether reservations are initiated by PC or telephone. And, companies can reduce the time and effort travelers spend making reservations and filing expense reports.
“My goal as a travel and financial director is to implement solutions that streamline and reduce the overall cost of travel,” said Elliot Grissom, Director of Accounts Payable, Travel, and Financial Systems for Solutia Inc., formerly the chemical businesses of Monsanto Company. “The integration of American Express’ Corporate Card and AXI solutions with Portable Software’s XMS solution will ease the strain on a company’s travelers. It will encourage them to follow spending guidelines and use corporate discount rates, as well as provide companies with the information to better manage travel budgets and vendors.”
American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Express Company — a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance, and international banking. More information on American Express Corporate Services may be found on the World Wide Web at [http//www.americanexpress.com/corporateservices].
Since 1993 Portable Software Corporation has been developing and marketing travel and entertainment automation software and services that serve the entire enterprise, from business travelers to corporate accounting departments. Its flagship product, the Xpense Management Solution (XMS), has been chosen by more Fortune 1000 and multinational companies for enterprise-wide T&E expense automation than any other travel expense solution. As the recognized worldwide leader in T&E expense automation, Portable Software has already automated travel expense management processes in over 250 companies around the world.