It’s said, “Good things come in pairs.” In the case of travel and expense (T&E) and purchase card (P-Card) transactions, this bit of wisdom could not be further from the truth. Duplicate expenses are a persistent issue for companies, and a pain for everyone—travelers, their managers, and the finance team.
Submitting the same expense twice is one of the most common errors employees make; Oversight’s Spend Analysis found that 10% of travelers have at least one duplicate expense. In most cases, duplicate expense submissions are honest mistakes. However, occasionally, they are attempts to commit expense fraud by double-dipping. Whether intentional or not, duplicate expenses are an area of vulnerability for corporate spending programs.
5 Hidden Places to Uncover Duplicate Expenses
- Duplicates across multiple reports - T&E management systems, such as Certify, Chrome River, and Concur, do a fair job spotting the same expense being reported twice on the same expense report. But things get more challenging when expenses are duplicated across multiple reports.
- Multiple travelers claiming the same expense – Expenses submitted by multiple employees for the same meals often slip through the cracks. In this case, one traveler pays for the meal with a company card, while the other traveler submits an itemized receipt for the same meal as an out-of-pocket expense.
- Same expense on P-Card and expense report - P-Cards can be used to intentionally duplicate purchases that benefit the employee. But they are prone to unintentional errors such as a P-Card transaction being expensed on a T&E expense report or AP invoice.
- Repeat offenders – We all have employees who keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Employees who frequently submit duplicate expenses are tough to spot if you don’t have a view across expense reports and P-Card transactions over time.
- High-risk expense report categories or merchant category codes (MCCs) – Some expense categories and MCCs have a higher risk for non-compliant spending, including miscellaneous stores, mail/phone order, wholesale trade, business services, and meals and entertainment.
Don’t pay someone twice
Double dipping and duplicate expenses add up over time. To eliminate duplicate expenses and risks in corporate spend programs, innovative companies are implementing artificial intelligence to automatically analyze 100% of expenses across ALL expense reports, purchase card transactions, and accounts payable data to identify fraud, non-compliant purchases, and wasteful spending. With an AI-powered solution like Oversight Insights On Demand™, you can prevent duplicate payments, track repeat offenders and find the root cause of behavior that needs to be corrected, so you can educate employees and vendors, and avoid compliance risk.
Demo Oversight to see how you can stop being duped by duplicates in your corporate spend program.
Sarah Zoloth is a Solutions Consultant with Oversight Systems.