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Travel & Expense Purchase Card

Did Your Corporate Card Go on Vacation?

on August 09, 2017

As summer winds down, do you know whether your corporate cards have been going on vacation with employees? It’s a valid question.

It’s not necessarily that employees are actively seeking to cheat the system. Rather, they’re distracted by all the craziness of family travel and accidentally use the wrong card. The scenarios where this could happen are endless.

Imagine that Judy, an employee at XYZ company, goes on a road trip with her two kids. The kids are fighting, one has to use the facilities, the other wants a snack. Judy has been asked “are we there yet?” at least 50 times. She’s been driving for four hours; she is tired and at her wits’ end. Judy pulls off the freeway to fill her gas tank. She hurriedly whips out her credit card at the pump and gets the gas flowing, then rushes inside the quick mart to take little Johnny to the restroom and grab a Snickers for “hangry” Jenny. Judy didn’t notice that she mistakenly filled her tank on the company card.

If Judy doesn’t remember to report her error—if she even realizes she made it—then chances are it will go undetected. Most auditors are only sampling transactions. They’re reviewing just 20-30% of card transactions. Even if Judy’s tank of gas shows up in an audit, how will they know she was on vacation during this purchase? Gas is an approved expense type for Judy because she regularly travels to meetings with prospects and customers in her region. To the human eye, everything looks copacetic with this transaction.

The problem is the manual processes that companies employ are time-consuming and the quality of analysis is variable. Traditional approaches can miss not only one-off mistakes, but also the patterns of inappropriate behavior that often occur just below their review threshold.

Undetected, these little mistakes can add up across a large program. What’s more, some employees aren’t like well-meaning Judy who accidentally put a tank of gas on her corporate card while on vacation. Her coworker Joe might do this same thing, realize he got away with it and start to regularly expense his gas for personal use. With traditional analytics, bad actors like Joe can fly under the radar and too often get away with policy violations.

This is just one of many reasons why automated monitoring solutions make sense for large card programs. A solution like Oversight Insights On Demand has a cross-system view that combines card and expense report transactions with employee records and HR data. The automated monitoring solution examines 100% of transactions over an extended time and runs analytics in parallel. Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques bring all the clues together to identify exceptions and find the root cause of behavior that needs to be corrected. In this case, Judy’s transaction would automatically be detected and flagged as an exception because it occurred during a weekend/holiday.

Don’t let your employees’ summer holidays cost you. See how to detect and prevent non-compliant transactions with Insights On Demand. Request a demo to learn more.

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