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Travel & Expense

3 Ways T&E Spend Can Inform Policy

on March 23, 2020

As recently reported by the Center for Audit Quality, organization leaders must partake in proactive and regular assessments of corporate culture to mitigate the chance of risk and identify areas of culture that are performing well, or resonating with employees.

This high-level look at an organization’s culture helps determine any gaps or missteps. It allows for a redirection of efforts to enhance and bolster a positive culture that weaves into existing values, missions and practices.

Taking similar stock of spend data can help organizations build a culture of compliance. With a single view of transactions, companies can identify opportunities to educate employees on policy and correct poor spending habits. In fact, Oversight customers have been able to reduce non-compliant spend by as much as 70% by engaging with employees on policy-related matters.

Complete visibility into spend has also helped Oversight customers strengthen policies and drive further compliance improvements. Read on for three real-life examples of how spend analysis has led to policy updates that help curtail risk and misuse.

1. Requiring Pre-Approval for Alcohol Purchases

Before mobilizing Oversight’s T&E platform, a leading manufacturer of construction products was unaware of the frequency and amount of alcohol purchases made by employees, which created liability concerns along with misuse of company funds.

To mitigate these concerns, the company opted to establish policy regarding these purchases moving forward. Now, employees must get leadership approval prior to purchase.

2. Defining Employee Gift Policy

One of the world’s leading manufacturers of makeup and skincare products found itself having to define what type of employee life events warrant a gift and how much should be spent.

By viewing all T&E spend with Oversight, the organization became aware of money spent on expensive flower arrangements for employees on various occasions. They deemed some were justifiable, such as weddings and funerals, and some were not. This discovery prompted the company to clarify the appropriate dollar amounts to be spent on such purchases as well as to define the life events that warranted the sentiment. Some organizations may also consider a different spend channel for employee gifts.

3. Adjusting Procurement Policies Based on T&E Behaviors

For the same makeup and skincare product manufacturer, the single view of T&E spend helped identify a need for a preferred iPhone and iPad procurement channel.

While the company knew that employees were purchasing devices through T&E, they were unaware of how frequently this was occurring – and at what cost. To mitigate this spending, the company established a preferred procurement channel for these items, allowing these purchases to be tracked and reported. Trackability is especially important, for example, if an employee leaves the company and all equipment needs to be returned.

With a single view of spend, companies have the intelligence required to change employee behavior and build a culture of compliance. Through the Oversight platform, policy reminders are part of the remediation workflow for any spend violation. The effectiveness of employee engagement, which is tracked through a dashboard, is proven to reduce waste and exposure to risk, all resulting in the optimization of spend.

Ashlee Bloom

Ashlee Bloom is an Account Manager for Oversight Systems.