Daily Data Dive

PYMNTS Daily Data Dive: Office Holiday Parties

Santa knows if you’ve been bad or good, but Abacus knows what you’ve been expensing. The intelligent expense management software company analyzed 152 of its customers’ expense reports over the 2016 holiday season, giving us insight into the hottest trends of holiday parties past. (You know, to better plan for next year.)

First off, no need to budget for a photo booth — they’re being replaced by Snapchat geofilters. The priciest item by far were venues, comprising 44 percent of expenses.

Uber was the ride of choice for partygoers this past year — with 3.8 times more being spent on Uber than traditional taxis and a full seven times more spent on Uber when compared to Lyft.

And while food and drinks were both present (what’s a good party without both?), Abacus found that companies spent an average of 4.8 times more on food over alcohol. Is BYOB the new norm for office parties?

Lastly, in case there was any question about the rise of the remote workforce, companies spent 13 percent of their overall party budgets on transit and lodging alone bringing employees in from out of town.

Here are the numbers:

152 | Businesses Abacus analyzed over the holidays

44 percent | Percent of expenses that went to pay for venues

3.8x | Amount spent on Uber over traditional taxis

7x | Amount spent on Uber over Lyft

4.8x | Amount spent on food over alcohol

13 percent | Percent of expenses that went to pay for transit and lodging

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Featured PYMNTS Study: 

With eyes on lowering costs to improving cash flow, 85 percent of U.S. firms plan to make real-time payments integral to their operations within three years. However, some firms still feel technical barriers stand in the way. In the January 2020 Making Real-Time Payments A Reality Study, PYMNTS surveyed more than 500 financial executives to examine what it will take to channel RTP interest into real-world adoption. Here’s what we learned.

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