As spending on global business travel increases, companies are leveraging their expense data to eliminate waste and promote policy.
“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,” says Jon Feiwell, Director of Financial Process and Quality Improvement at ABS. “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.” “You are essentially flying blind if you do not have a tool like Oversight, because Oversight can analyze data in a way that the human eye cannot,” Jon Feiwell, Director of Financial Process and Quality Improvement at ABS. “I’d rather have Oversight than an army of people trying to do the analysis.”
Spending on global business travel topped record-breaking numbers in 2015 and is expected to continue rising – reaching $1.6 trillion by 2020. While a mobile workforce is indeed a critical driver for business success, with greater spending on travel and entertainment, however, comes greater vulnerability to the three biggest problems facing T&E programs today: fraud, waste and misuse. What if you could improve your bottom line by decreasing out-of-compliance travel & entertainment expenses by as much as 70%?
About the American Bureau of Shipping
Since its founding in 1862, the American Bureau of Shipping, a not-for-profit corporation, has been setting standards for safety and excellence as one of the world’s leading ship classification societies. ABS has been at the forefront of marine and offshore energy innovation for more than 150 years, working alongside its partners to tackle the most pressing technical, operational and regulatory challenges so the marine and offshore industries can operate safely, securely and responsibly. The surveyors, engineers, researchers and regulatory specialists who form the ABS team work in more than 200 offices in 70 countries. A Concur customer since 2009, ABS uses Concur Expense in many countries around the world as well as Concur Travel in the U.S. Detecting Duplicates, Unusual Spending Patterns and FCPA Risks At ABS, concerns over non-compliant T&E expenses spanned three key areas. Duplicates: Airline tickets issued via corporate card then resubmitted as a cash or personal credit card expense. Unusual Spending Patterns: Corporate gifts that not only violated compliance policies but some, in fact, weren’t gifts at all. And FCPA Risks: With operations in many countries worldwide, ABS was accountable for any payments that could potentially violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) or the UK Anti-Bribery Act. What ABS needed was meaningful insight into their transactional spend without having to invest significant resources to get it. With expense reporting already automated through Concur, they looked to Oversight, a Concur App Center partner, to analyze their T&E expense data.
Oversight’s pre-built integration with Concur allows for automated data acquisition. It also works with existing ERP systems and data from P-card providers for seamless, accurate analysis. Deployment was “easy as pie,” allowing ABS to easily leverage their Concur expense reporting data for analysis through Insights On Demand, a web-based software solution that incorporates advanced analytical techniques including Boolean, statistical, time based, behavioral and similarity analysis to uncover anomalies. Implementation was easy and in no time at all ABS had access to management dashboards that provided in-depth visibility into companywide spend and compliance – enabling them to immediately identify non-compliant expenses, track deficiencies in real-time, and determine high-risk countries and high-risk transactions. Creating Policy Awareness. Influencing Change. By automating their T&E data analysis, ABS was able to proactively monitor company spend on a global scale. They could see patterns of behavior and reduce leaks in spending. And rather than investing internal resources on data mining, they instead focused on promoting policy awareness and influencing change.
“Awareness among employees that there is an electronic system analyzing expense reports serves as an effective deterrent,” Feiwell says. “And utilizing Oversight also gives executive management, our audit committee, and others throughout the organization comfort that there is an additional level of review over these transactions.”