How Better UX Saves 15% of Time Managing T&E Reports

Submitting and managing T&E reports is never going to “spark joy.” But that doesn’t mean employees should suffer through antiquated processes or tools. In a 2024 commissioned Total Economic Impact™ study, Forrester Consulting found that smarter T&E management saved 15% of the time managers, accounting, and end users spend approving requests, submitting expenses and receipts, and creating reports.

The Costs of Frustrating T&E Management

Most companies either use homegrown spreadsheets or overblown point solutions to manage expenses. Both are frustrating and inefficient for end users and management. And despite the significant effort sunk into maintaining these tools and processes, they still underperform.


Spreadsheets are inherently manual and labor-intensive and can’t scale to keep pace with company growth. Finance and accounting are increasingly strained to keep pace with expense reports and get stuck chasing approvals instead of analyzing trends for insights, cost-savings, and fraud.

Legacy expense platforms swing too far the other way. They’re bloated, difficult to use, and slow to integrate emerging tech like virtual cards or contactless payments. The Forrester study found that managers alone spent 30 minutes to review each expense report, including time spent following up with questions. In an increasingly-remote workforce – where many employees submit WFH expenses every month – the burden balloons. Even a mid-size company of 300 employees could generate 3,600 expense reports annually.

Reporting is often the final straw. Finance and accounting staff struggle to keep up with frequent ad hoc requests from leadership, pulling reports and performing manual calculations in separate spreadsheets. According to Forrester’s interviewees, this frustrating process typically takes hours or even days, in some extreme cases. The Forrester study modeled that the composite finance team is likely receiving 100 ad hoc requests per year from leadership.

>> Related: 71% of CFOs Say T&E Management Absorbs Too Much Time <<

How Better UX Saves 15% of Time Managing T&E Expense Reports

In the end, the Forrester study found that easy-to-use platforms – particularly those with flexible reporting features – save time across a variety of activities, including approving T&E requests, pulling ad hoc reports, and submitting expenses.

All told, the Forrester study found that a user-friendly interface improved the operational efficiency of managers and end users by 15%. And within three years, these efficiency gains totaled $56,000 in value for a 1,000-person organization with 300 travelers.