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Travel & Expense Purchase Card

Travelers Spending Badly-- Whose Fault Is It?

on September 22, 2015

Coming just after Payroll, T&E is the second largest controllable expense for most companies, and it’s pretty standard practice now for companies to have a corporate card program and expense management system in place. So picture it: your employees have already adopted your corporate card, and you have pretty good visibility into your company’s spend. You also have audit rules set in your expense management system. With those strong controls in place, what else is left to do?

You’ve streamlined your expense reporting process, but have you thought about your compliance process?

Funerals, cruises, “client entertainment” at “adult” venues, personal shopping, hotel stays at the Ritz-Carlton, doggie limo pick-up and spa services, cosmetic surgeries, habitual purchases at liquor stores, spousal flights, match.com—at Oversight, we’ve seen it all. Who’s really to blame for all this non-compliant spending: the traveler, the approver, or the company culture? 

The Approver?

Management approval is (usually) another standard part of the expense process. Some companies solely rely on approving managers to validate expense reports for employees, which is a pretty unfair thing to ask of your managers. On top of all of the other tasks they’re assigned to complete, they have to manually comb through expense reports to make sure those who report to them are complying with corporate policy.

Let’s not forget another important thing: company culture is infectious. It spreads like the Flu at the height of Flu season in a Primary School—fast and all consuming. If you want to be “the cool boss,” that’s fine. In fact, I encourage it! However, if you’re letting inappropriate purchases fly under the radar because you’re “just not there yet (‘there,’ meaning at a place where taking action and deterring non-compliant behavior is not a priority…because your employees are good and respect you as their boss)…well, you already know how crazy that sounds.

Corporate Policy? Sometimes there are instances when employees are traveling and they’ll need to go to the grocery store, which, according to policy, may not be permissible. Really, you only want to be concerned with these instances once they’ve started making patterns out of themselves. How would an approving manager catch such patterns, though?

The Traveler? By process of elimination all signs point to the traveler. The employees signed an agreement to comply with the corporate travel policy. Sure, there will be instances where the corporate card is not accepted, so they’ll have to pay out-of-pocket, but that happens sometimes, and they’ll get reimbursed.

Here’s why you don’t have to worry about assigning blame and worrying the travelers: Oversight’s Insights On Demand for Travel and Expense works so that you are no longer relying on approving managers to review expense reports. Instead, you’re holding travelers responsible for their non-compliant behavior. Through automated analysis, 100% of your expense reports are analyzed. That means nothing slips through the cracks. Not only do we tell you what transactions appear to be against policy, we’ll give you a way to research and take action on those findings. Oversight Insights On Demand™ is the Swiss army knife for your policy compliance.

With our solution, you’ll have all the tools you’ll need in one place. We’re still figuring out where to put the corkscrew…


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