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Travel & Expense

Is your T&E Program Flying Blind?

on May 10, 2017

We have discussed in recent blogs that spending on global business travel is breaking records and is expected to continue rising – reaching $1.6 trillion by 2020. With travel and expense (T&E) increasing globally so does the possibility of fraud, waste, and misuse. But many organizations are “flying blind” when it comes to monitoring, analyzing, and resolving T&E spending. They rely on manual processes and sample audits to identify only the most obvious issues, but remain blind to the broader patterns of spending abuse occurring regularly within their programs.

Gaining better visibility

With travel spending on the rise, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), a not-for-profit corporation that sets standards for safety and excellence as one of the world’s leading ship classification societies, recognized that they needed enhanced visibility and a better way to handle non-compliant expenses. With more than 5,000 employees in over 200 offices across 70 countries, keeping track of T&E spending was not easy and required a lot of time and manual processes. ABS needed an innovative way to detect duplicates, unusual spending patterns, and FCPA risks.

Jon Feiwell, director of financial process and quality improvement at ABS noted that, “We’re a four-person team, which wasn’t enough to review 5,000 expense reports every month looking for those needles in the haystack. We knew we had a treasure trove of data from Concur, so the question became how to ascertain what’s critical and which transactions to focus on.”

ABS needed meaningful insights into their transactional spending without having to invest significant resources to retrieve and analyze the data. Expense reporting was already automated through Concur, so they looked to Oversight, a Concur App Center partner, to analyze their T&E expense data.

By automating T&E data analysis, they were able to proactively monitor company spend on a global scale. The result was a clearing of the skies, helping their financial process team quickly find patterns of unwanted behavior and reduce leaks in spending. Some organizations solve the problem by hiring more people to view all transactions. Feiwell sees it this way, “You can have an army of people, but I’d rather have Oversight.”

Influencing change with Oversight

At Oversight, we understand the challenges large organizations like ABS are dealing with. Through our Insights On Demand, a web-based software solution that incorporates advanced analytical techniques, you can quickly uncover anomalies in T&E programs. It is easy to implement and provides in-depth visibility to immediately identify non-compliant expenses, track deficiencies in real-time, and determine high-risk countries and high-risk transactions. With Oversight, you will be flying high with a full view of companywide spend and compliance.

Read for yourself what ABS was facing and how they are now able to promote policy awareness and influence change across their organization. Download the case study here.

Jessica Kirk

Jessica Kirk is Vice President of Marketing at Oversight.