Expense management is scaling globally, literally, as Chrome River is opening an office in the Asia-Pacific region.
The firm announced last week that it has set down roots in Sydney, following news earlier this year that it had also established a presence in San Francisco to focus on the U.S. West Coast and APAC, an area in which it said it intended to expand.
In an interview with PYMNTS, Julie Roy, Chrome River’s chief marketing officer, said the expense management firm counts roughly 5 percent of its customer base within APAC, and they largely operate as units of large, global enterprises, themselves the mainstays of Chrome River’s client base.
Speaking to the decision to establish a dedicated team of sales and implementation professionals, with a geographic focus that looks beyond the U.S., Roy noted that Chrome River had been on the receiving end of inbound requests to work directly with firms based in APAC, and interest had also spread to potential new business in APAC through what she termed “word of mouth.”
Such interest drummed up through organic means seems to make sense in a globally oriented business environment, where, as Roy stated, Chrome River has its roots originally as a provider of software and expense management solutions, spanning billing and tax management, among other services, for law firms marked by complex business activities.
Chrome River has branched out into several other verticals, she continued, working across 183 currencies, 40 tax jurisdictions and 11 languages, in tandem with growth in demand for enterprise cloud-based software and a white-label travel expense offering geared toward higher education. Card payments and employee reimbursements — and automating those functions — become increasingly important with far-flung operations and travels between those operations, with an eye on technologies that include document capture via mobile device, among other features. Roy told PYMNTS that the region has specific payments and expense management considerations that extend, for example, to Australia’s goods and services tax.
As for a roadmap, the executive said that the likely near-term plan is to move into Australia and New Zealand first, with Hong Kong also on the horizon. Eventual expansion could possibly include Japan and China. The Global Business Travel Association has estimated that firms will spend more than $1.2 trillion on travel this year; across the APAC region, the growth rate is estimated to be around 7.7 percent, and the region captures roughly 39 percent of total spend.