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Expedia’s Matt Hulett Calls for Best Practice

In a keynote address at today’s Association of Corporate Travel Executives
2005 Global Conference, Expedia Corporate Travel president Matt Hulett
announced that the company is proactively leading business travel industry
emphasis on corporate governance best practices by providing
technology-enhanced visibility, control and automation of business travel
programs. “Power tools,” such as the recently announced TripController
solution and additional policy control and reporting features, are part of
Expedia Corporate Travel’s EPower service platform that helps
companies of all sizes by streamlining and automating the auditing,
authorizing and reporting functions that may assist in meeting
Sarbanes-Oxley financial reporting and internal control requirements.
“On-demand business solutions such as Expedia Corporate Travel empower
companies with greater control, in-depth visibility and automation of
processes,” said Steve Cakebread, CFO of, a customer of
Expedia Corporate Travel. “The EPower platform demonstrates Expedia
Corporate Travel’s leadership in giving customers like us the clearest
degree of visibility into their corporate travel transactions and
performance, all in a real-time, tightly managed environment.”

Sarbanes-Oxley is one of the more recognized components of the U.S.
government’s growing concern in the corporate environment for increased
accountability and more rigorous internal financial controls. While the
increased scrutiny required under Sarbanes-Oxley forces public companies
to reassess and improve the quality and transparency of their financial
reporting and auditing functions, it also brings an opportunity for these
companies to optimize costly and inefficient tasks involved in the
compliance and reporting process. A corporate travel program, which
typically represents the second-largest controllable business expense, is
one specific area where automated, real-time reporting and authorization
tools can save time and money by improving visibility, control, and fraud
management capabilities.

The EPower platform includes robust and forward-thinking “power tools”
that provide Expedia Corporate Travel customers with greater control,
visibility and access to better manage their travel programs.
TripController, one of the platform components, is a new feature that
sets a higher industry standard in travel approval and auditing by
offering companies better, faster and easier trip authorization and
reporting processes through automation and real-time technology. In
addition, Expedia Corporate Travel’s on-demand reports include instant
views of traveler itineraries, transactions and trip approvals, and can be
customized along with policy controls to match each individual company’s
requirements. The EPower platform’s ability to set spending limits and
make real-time audits also enables companies with these stronger
safeguards the capabilities to help prevent unauthorized travel
transactions and fraudulent booking behavior.

Aside from its technology-powered solutions, the human element behind
Expedia Corporate Travel’s service offering also drives compliance and
travel cost savings for companies. Corporate Consulting Managers work
closely with each Expedia Corporate Travel customer and serve as an
additional check and balance by helping to assess which EPower tools
make sense for the company’s procedures and culture, which helps further
automate processes, provide actionable reports and establish best practice
travel policies. Policy compliance and authorization protocol are also
consistently followed, whether the transaction is conducted online or by
phone, since Expedia Corporate Travel booking agents and travelers both
use the same user interface.

“Companies that are leveraging best practices in business travel and
enforcing a more tightly managed program structure can easily see the
cost-saving and productivity bonuses associated with Expedia Corporate
Travel’s standard high online adoption rate,” said Matt Hulett, president
of Expedia Corporate Travel. “As time and financial costs related to
independent audits and regulation compliance continue to pose problems for
some companies, Expedia Corporate Travel is making an early move to help
control and keep down travel program costs while encouraging a ‘culture of
compliance’ with our customers.”