AMEX Small Business Monitor Shows Small Businesses Taking ‘Wait and See’ Approach
Paychex Launches New Industry-leading Report Center
Concur Study Reveals Road Warriors Packing More Mobile Apps Than Ever, But Are They The Right Ones?
As the busy fall business travel season heats up, survey finds vast majority of travelers embracing mobile apps, yet still looking for tools to reduce stress and increase job satisfaction.
REDMOND, Wash. –Business travel got you down? You’re not alone. A recent study conducted by Concur (NASDAQ: CNQR), a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions, reveals some major pain points that are leaving business travelers feeling unhappy (55 percent) and dissatisfied (53 percent). While a third (31 percent) did report a sense of accomplishment upon completing a business trip, dissatisfaction was attributed largely to looming task of managing receipts and filing expense reports. In fact, 80 percent said filing expense reports at the end of a trip increases their stress level and a third say the hassles of business travel impacts their overall job satisfaction.
But all is not lost. More and more business travelers are turning to mobile technology, selecting apps specifically to enhance their business travel experiences and ease the pains of being on the road and away from the office. These apps enable travelers to make changes to their travel on the fly, capture expenses and receipts at the point of purchase, book a taxi or find their way around a new destination. Whether they leverage a corporate-issued app or are embracing the increasingly popular concept of “Bring Your Own Apps” (BYOA), 89 percent agree mobile technology improves their travel experience and more than half of business travelers (62 percent) are relying on apps *every time* they travel. So what apps are travelers using to help navigate cities and reschedule booking? Most common applications include airline apps (44 percent), map apps (41 percent) and hotel apps (30 percent). And although expense reports were identified as a major pain point of business travel, less than a half of these travelers (43 percent) are leveraging apps to file their expenses while on the road. Below are additional key findings from the survey:
- Travelers aren’t using just one or two of these apps. Nearly a quarter of them (22 percent) use five or more business travel apps during their trips – hoping to stay productive in transit.
- The more frequent the business traveler, the more travel apps they use. Thirty-two percent of travelers who venture out on behalf of their company at least three times per month use five or more apps, compared to just 13 percent of those who travel less frequently (less than two times per month).
As may be expected in today’s technology-savvy world, age also makes a difference in app usage. Surprisingly, more than half (60 percent) of business travelers 55 and older frequently use *any* travel app.
“Mobile devices and applications should put the business traveler firmly in control of their trip,” said Rajeev Singh, president and COO of Concur. “Our mobile services are designed specifically to help alleviate the stress inherent in business travel, and deliver an experience that that brings the possibility of The Perfect Trip to life.”
In the last year, Concur has seen 49 percent overall growth in new mobile app users, with continued strong adoption of the Concur app by road warriors on Android (58 percent growth), Blackberry (80 percent growth) and Apple iOS (64 percent growth). Concur has seen a 67 percent increase of business travelers submitting expense reports from their mobile devices since last year, and a 53 percent growth in those approving their expense reports on the road. In addition to leveraging Concur’s mobile app, millions of travelers also use TripIt® on their mobile device to organize and share their trips This survey was executed by KRC Research on behalf of Concur. KRC conducted a total of 1,500 interviews among employed adults in the US (1,000) and Canada (500). All respondents regularly travel for business and submit expense reports as a part of their travel. All interviews were conducted online between August 13 and 21, 2012.
AMEX Small Business Monitor Shows Small Businesses Taking ‘Wait and See’ Approach
The American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor shows small businesses are taking a wait and see approach, perhaps because of the pending elections: Their top priority is maintaining current business and sources of revenue (32%), hiring plans have dipped slightly from 35 percent in the spring to 29 percent currently, and just under a quarter (24%) say they have no plans to grow their businesses over the next six months.
Now in its eleventh year, the survey is the longest running small business survey from a Fortune 500 company. For the first time in the history of the survey, American Express has included a Success Index that aims to identify the strategies and tactics most closely associated with successful entrepreneurs. Based on growth and other criteria, the Index deconstructs what has made some small businesses successful and then draws correlations to their philosophical approaches and specific tactics they deploy. The “high achiever” group represents just six percent of the total survey population.
Key differentiators and potential learning’s from these high achievers include:
- They ask for advice: *Nearly six-in-ten have a business mentor (59%, versus 33% of the total population)
- They leverage social media: *Seven-in-ten use social media (70% versus 49% overall) More than three quarters (79%) use social media to attract new customers (versus 57% overall)
- They solicit feedback:*Ninety-two percent agree it would be foolish not to ask their customers for feedback and incorporate it into their business model going forward (versus 75% overall). More than three-quarters (78%) ask their customers for advice on how to better service them (versus 52% overall). Nearly three-quarters (73%) ask for new client referrals (versus 53% overall). More than half (51%) ask for positive reviews on relevant review sites and social media (51% versus 34%)
- They’re positive thinkers: *More than three-quarters have a positive outlook and business prospects (77%, versus 49% of the total population) and nearly all (99%) say that they see the glass as half-full (versus 83% of the total survey group)
- They pay themselves a salary:* On average, high achievers earn an $85,500 per year salary (versus $72,000 overall
A news release outlining the results of the survey and its methodology is available here.
Paychex Launches New Industry-leading Report Center, Providing America’s Businesses Comprehensive Tools for Payroll, Benefits, and HR Management
New offering leverages the power of single sign-on across all Paychex platforms
Rochester, NY – Paychex, Inc., a leading provider of payroll, human resource, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses, today announced the launch of Paychex Report Center, a one-stop shop for standard, on-demand, and ad-hoc reporting; data extract templates; and more, allowing businesses, their accounting professionals, and employees to better manage payroll, benefits, and human resources data.
“We’re proud to be leading the competition with the new Paychex Report Center,” said Martin Mucci, Paychex president and CEO. “So much of a company’s organization and efficiencies revolve around reporting, and this new offering provides 24/7 access to insightful information that will help America’s business owners operate more effectively and make more informed management decisions.”
In addition to providing a single location for more than 140 reports, Paychex Report Center offers:
- Around-the-clock access to valuable company information: payroll reports, retirement plan summaries, employee data, and much more
- Quick and easy views for clients and accountants with multiple businesses/multiple business IDs
- New customization options for specific and relative date ranges, type of employee, organization, and more
- Package creation and favorites bookmarking for quick access from the Paychex Online dashboard
- Data exports in a variety of formats, including PDF, XLS, fixed-width, and CSV to manipulate for easy importing into third-party software
- Ability to build custom reports from scratch using Paychex Report Writer
“This latest offering is based on our next-generation platform that further positions us for the future,” said Michael Gioja, Paychex senior vice president of information technology, product management and development. “We focused on delivering a robust and intuitive customer-focused user interface that quickly enables clients and their accountants to access the data they need to run their business.”
Paychex Report Center is available to clients with a Paychex Online user account and a Paychex Single Sign-On account. Paychex Single Sign-On allows users to access all Paychex offerings with a single login, and is the foundation of the next-generation platform. Paychex Report Center consists of four distinct reporting tools that allow users to customize the sophistication of reporting capabilities based on need. In addition to extensive features for clients, Paychex Report Center is also designed for accountants. By providing a full range of client reports and the ability to build custom reports, this new offering further enhances the accountants’ role as their clients’ most trusted advisor. (Paychex is the preferred payroll and retirement services provider for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants – AICPA – Trusted Business Advisor Program.)