Service Automates Expense Reporting

By Renee Boucher Ferguson  |  Posted 2002-03-05

IBM and American Express Co. have joined forces to tackle online business expense reporting.

The two giants announced an agreement today to jointly develop a Web-based expense reporting and reconciliation tool designed to reduce the cost of managing everyday business expenses, according to officials at American Express, in New York.

The application, dubbed the American Express @ Work Reconciliation Management tool, will be sold as part of the American Express @ Work suite of online expense management tools, and hosted by IBM, of Armonk, N.Y. With pilot tests underway now, the online service will be generally available during the second quarter to American Express Corporate Card and Corporate Purchasing Card customers.

The new application was first developed as a Java application by IBM. The homegrown application was used as an internal tool to help reduce the hassle of reporting expenses for thousands of IBM employees – and to avoid the cost of processing them, according to officials.

The new software will be offered in two separate modules, one for reporting travel and miscellaneous business expense and the other for reconciling corporate purchases. Users can access the modules through AmExs Website. They will have the capability to audit, manage and process everyday expenses. The software will automatically insert expense data into employees expense reports and purchasing reconciliation forms for their Corporate Cards and Corporate Purchasing Cards.

Accounting departments, for their part, can configure the solution to meet internal policies as well as tax requirements.

The software also has some data files that integrate with some financial systems.

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