Organizations continue to experience notable shifts in employee spending behaviors and trends during the current COVID-19 pandemic and almost universal transition to working from home. In our recent November Spend Insights Report, we shared some eye-opening findings uncovered during the third quarter of 2020.
Since the pandemic hit in Q2, we expected that the brunt of the damage was done, and we’d see risk normalize in Q3. However, that wasn’t the case. Our analysis showed spend risk in Q3 2020 was more than three times higher than Q3 of 2019.
Here are other key findings from our November report:
- T&E Spend Dropped, Risk Tripled: A 77% decrease in T&E spend due to travel restrictions was counteracted by the alarming year-over-year increase in spend risk. Spend risk more than double from Q2 to Q3 2020
- Fraud Activity Violations More than Doubled: Fraud activity violations increased 57% from Q2 to Q3 2020, remaining the most prevalent type of spend risk since the pandemic. Spend at electronic, computer and package stores triggered the majority of these violations.
- Ongoing work from home arrangements opened the door to out-of-policy spend: From big-screen TVs to soundbars, employees often bend the rules on equipment purchases, payment and procurement methods as they work from home. Expenses submitted as office supplies and meals/restaurants accounted for more than 25% of spend violations.
Given this increase, it’s apparent there is still work to be done to understand how policies and audit processes should be adapted to control new spend behaviors. To help, we are working with organizations on suggested changes to policy, adjustments to audit approaches, and other recommended actions to target and combat these new risk profiles more effectively.