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In my previous blog post for Oversight, I detailed how Excel no longer cuts it for expense reporting. In the world of reporting and analysis, Excel is a very powerful tool, but while it is flexible, it has its limitations. The same can be said for using Excel or expense reporting software to handle the audit of Travel and Expense data. The reports may be generated by either a BI tool or ACL or even within Excel itself, and the results attempt to highlight those expense items that are risky or non-compliant with corporate policy.
These tools can be useful, but one big problem with reports and Excel is that they don’t tell you the specifics of why a given expense item or card transaction is a potential problem, thus extensive investigation is necessary. In order to do the investigation, the item must be found/searched for in another software program, such as the expense reporting system. It becomes especially cumbersome when trying to look for similar patterns in an employee’s behavior. Even if you can distinguish a pattern, getting each of those transactions on a single page may require additional cutting and pasting into Excel or another tool. This can quickly become rather tedious, especially when there are quite a few items to look up.
Another problem with manual reporting and excel is the difficulty of trying to do a second level of analysis on the investigation results. For instance, if in one month problems are identified for an employee and then a few months later additional issues were identified, how can you tie these results together and find the “repeat offenders” or find the problems that keep recurring across different departments or multiple travelers?
Even if you’re willing to put in the tiresome work of manually compiling an investigation, the difficulty of sharing the investigation and resolution process with a team of people is the straw breaking the proverbial camel’s back. Keeping track of who has done what, which items remain to be resolved, which items are waiting for feedback and then maintaining the records becomes “spreadsheet hell”. The process of auditing creates an audit problem in itself. A laborious manual process is the reason why many of our potential customers audit only 5-20% of transactions before implementing Oversight. Audition only a small portion is all they can handle between the manual reporting and investigation process.
The good news is that these problems can all be overcome by using Oversight’s Insights On DemandTM. The Oversight workbench provides plain-language, detailed descriptions of why each item has been identified as a potential problem and brings together all of the source data into one place for fast and easy investigation and resolution. Our built-in case management capability resolves the record keeping, maintaining a complete, tamper-proof audit log. The built in workflow capabilities make sharing a problematic case easy, and the software keeps track of where each item is in the resolution process. Case management, case closed.