NEW YORK --January 24, 1996-- American Express Travel Management Services (TMS) announced today an agreement with electronic forms specialists Symantec Delrina Group and Wallace Computer Services to provide corporations with a cost-effective solution to automate the travel expense reporting process.
"Paper expense reports are on the endangered species list," said Ed Gilligan, Executive Vice President of American Express TMS. "Corporate finance departments want to take the expense out of expense reporting by reducing the time involved in processing tons of paper for travel and entertainment spending."
This relationship represents a significant breakthrough in the development of electronic forms applications for the corporate workplace. The leader in corporate travel expense payment systems, the American Express Corporate Card, has teamed up with two companies: Delrina, a leading electronic forms software company, and Wallace Computer Services, a leader in electronic forms integration with corporate systems, to provide companies with a fast, economical and flexible way to make the leap from paper to digital expense reporting.
"Expense report processing is long overdue for reengineering in corporate America," Mr. Gilligan added. "In fact, according to our 1994 Business Travel Survey, only 15 percent of companies could identify the costs of processing an expense report, which may run anywhere from $10 to $150. Most companies spend an average of $22 per expense report."
Strategic Alliance Offers Flexibility
American Express TMS created this relationship to give its corporate customers the best price and support for integrating its new electronic expense reporting software, Expense Manager SM, into their existing corporate systems.
More than two-thirds of U.S. companies have not automated their expense reporting process, according to the American Express Survey of Business Travel Management. The complexity of corporate computing environments and companies’ unique expense accounting requirements have been stumbling blocks to enterprise-wide automation of this paper-heavy process, according to Mr. Gilligan.
"The market has seen soup-to-nuts expense reporting systems come and go without finding customers because they required that companies adapt their systems and practices to fit the application," said Mr. Gilligan. "What this alliance offers is a more flexible approach that enables companies to acquire a custom-designed automated expense reporting process with the best forms software and most experienced support available."
Easy Expense Report Preparation
At the front end is American Express’ user-friendly Windows-based Expense Manager software, which allows business travelers to prepare an electronic expense report with a minimum of keystrokes.
An employee simply calls up his or her most recent Corporate Card charges by e-mail, and then fills out an electronic expense report with a few simple click-and-drag moves. Expense information can be delivered by either internal e-mail systems, commercial e-mail services or even the Internet, depending on the corporate systems environment. Expense Manager improves travel policy compliance with pop-up windows that notify travelers of exceptions to policy guidelines. It also slashes the time employees spend on this administrative task, and reduces the error rate attributable to typing errors.
Integration Into Existing Corporate Systems
Using Delrina’s flexible FormFlow software, Wallace will custom-design an electronic version of a company’s expense report. FormFlow, with its built-in "intelligent" features such as links to databases and calculations, allows organizations to leverage their existing technology to automate the process from beginning to end. Wallace provides a variety of services that leverage FormFlow features, including design and implementation of automated routing features to send the completed expense reports via e-mail systems to a manager for on-line approval. Once approved with an electronic signature, the information can be exported directly from approved expense reports into travel management reporting databases or financial accounting systems.
Wallace can also provide supplemental forms design and development, enterprise-wide integration, distribution, training, support and installation as required by the customer’s Information Systems department.
Since it introduced the Expense Manager prototype this summer, American Express has seen strong demand from corporations for product demonstration. Developed by American Express for use by large and medium-sized corporations, the product is in limited use now by a handful of Corporate Card customers and will begin a phased roll-out to clients in first quarter 1996, with expected general release in second quarter.
About the Delrina Group
Delrina Group of Symantec Corporation designs, develops, markets and supports innovative PC software products in the fax, data and voice communications, and electronic forms software markets. Delrina is recognized as the world leader in PC fax and electronic forms software.
Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC) develops, markets and supports a complete line of application and system software products designed to enhance individual and workgroup productivity as well as manage networked computing environments. The company is headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., and sells its software worldwide.
Wallace (NYSE:WCS) is one of the nation’s largest manufacturers and distributors of information management products, services and solutions, and offers a full range of software products and services for building enterprise-wide electronic forms systems. Additional product lines include paperwork systems and forms, labeling products and software, direct-response promotional printing and office supplies. The company is headquartered in Hillside, Ill., with manufacturing, distribution and sales facilities throughout the U.S. Additional information may be obtained from Wallace’s PLATFORMS home page on the World Wide Web at http://www.walcs.com, or by calling (714) 222-0122.
About American Express TMS
American Express Travel Management Services, which includes the American Express Corporate Card and Business Travel Services, assists companies in managing and controlling their business travel expenses. It is a unit of American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the American Express Company - a diversified worldwide travel and financial 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. World Wide Web site: http://www.americanexpress.com.
Product and Ordering Information:
Symantec Corporation, 10201 Torre Avenue, Cupertino, CA 95014 USA
(800) 441-7234 or (541) 334-6054