Dec. 20 is the busiest day for submitting expense claims in the United States, according to Concur,  a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management services.

Based on an analysis of its clients’ expense transaction volume, the number of claims made nationwide today is 167 percent above the daily average. And as staff rush to recoup costs ahead of the holiday season, it adds to the pressure faced by accounting teams expected to process all the last-minute submissions. Similar to the results Concur saw last year, expense reporting volume tends to spike as companies near the end of the year. A key factor contributing to the dramatic increase in claims during the holidays is a surge in client and staff entertainment. Another cause is the backlog of receipts and expenses incurred by employees during previous months and reconciled by the end of the calendar year as a way of recouping extra dollars for holiday travels and entertainment.

“As year-end approaches, many employees rush to submit expense reports, putting increased pressure on accounting teams responsible for processing everything before the holiday break,” said Mike Hilton, executive vice president of worldwide marketing for Concur. “Automated expense systems that directly import credit card charges and take digital images of receipts using a smartphone can help significantly, eliminating frustrating and time-consuming practices like stapling all of the right receipts together and filling out reams of paperwork.”