Certify s SpendSmart Report Conclusions Questioned

Bloomberg columnist Justin Fox is calling into question the latest Certify SpendSmart report on ground transportation business expenses, which shows the prevalence of rental cars plummeting due to ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft. 

Certify generates its quarterly report based on the number of receipts it processes for the various ground-transportation companies, not the total number of dollars spent. Therefore, one $200 rental car counts the same as a $15 Uber. Fox contends that rental companies have been in contact with Certify's CEO about the reports data gathering methods, and that its reports of plummeting rental-car market share do not sound correct.

"The problem is that it doesn't actually show market share as commonly understood," Fox writes. "For one thing, it only reflects spending habits among employees of companies that use Certify’s software, which are likely more startup- and tech-oriented than those of, say, longer-established rival SAP Concur. For another, as already mentioned, it shows the share of Certify ground-transportation expense filings claimed by each category, not the share of expense spending. Certify does track average cost per expense in its reports, so it could conceivably produce something closer to market share data for ground transportation."

Fox maintains that "reports of the death of the rental car are greatly exaggerated."

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