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Pemo releases report on UAE expense management systems

by Madaline Dunn

Spend management platform Pemo recently released a report on UAE expense submissions, which collected responses from 1,400 UAE-based entrepreneurs and employees. 

The report noted that typical corporate spending includes transportation and taxis (15 per cent), hotels and accommodation (13 per cent) and flights (12 per cent), with many either spending their own cash for reimbursement (29 per cent), using company petty cash (25 per cent), or using their own company credit card (25 per cent).

That said, despite the prevalence of corporate spending, it was also found that many within the country are finding themselves challenged by complex filing systems. 

The results showed that many in the UAE are failing to submit expenses regularly because they say they don’t have time (24 per cent) and don’t have admin support (21 per cent).

A total of 26 per cent said expenses take approximately one hour a month, while for 7 per cent of people, it takes more than three hours per month.

Some of the major hurdles highlighted in the report were receipts (26 per cent), manual expense reports (25 per cent) and expense approvals (22 per cent). 

However, the report noted that the cumulative cost of an inefficient corporate expense management system amounts to an average of 13,206 AED per year in lost revenue for at least a third of the working force (35 per cent). 

While the majority (51 per cent) do their expenses frequently, for nearly half of people (45 per cent), the average number of people required to approve spending is two, with Finance and Accounting, Office Managers and Human Resources being the top three departments who are involved. 

The report also found that 27 per cent can spend up to 500 AED before seeking further agreement, and 20 per cent are allowed to spend up to 5,000 AED without prior consent.

Overall, 39 per cent said they would welcome a user-friendly app that captures expenses straight away, 32 per cent said they would like something that provided an easy way of uploading expenses into the system. Sixteen per cent said they would welcome a tool that is linked to a card or bank account and that automatically accounts for receipts.

Further, 51 per cent of people from the report said an automated spend management system could save them between 1-3 hours per month, with 16 per cent of people estimating it could save them between 3-5 hours per month.

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