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High-Risk Spending Linked to 10 percent of Business Travelers

Wed, Dec 09, 2015

December 9, 2015—Atlanta, Georgia--Oversight Systems, a leading operational expense analysis company, today announced the release of its second annual report on the state of spending within global travel programs. The Spend Analysis Report: Volume 2, Fall 2015, was compiled from the analysis of spending behavior across 250,000 travelers with a total of 32 million expense report transactions and 16 million purchase card transactions. These travelers accrued over $3 billion dollars in spend.

“The annual Spend Analysis Report highlights the value of using analytics to identify opportunities for high impact action,” said Oversight CEO, Patrick Taylor. “In addition to providing the ability to benchmark spending data, our software makes it easier to drive cost savings.”

Findings from the 2015 report include:

  • 10 percent of travelers commit nearly all instances of high-risk spending within a given program
  • Almost 2 percent of transactions in a given program are non-compliant
  • Only 1.3 percent of expense reports in this study were flagged for high fraud risk

The analysis was performed using Oversight Insights On Demand™, a web-based application designed to assist travel & expense, purchase card, and accounts payable programs in automating policy compliance and identifying fraud, misuse, and errors.  The Software as a Service solution applies sophisticated forensic analytics, combined with transaction monitoring to review 100 percent of the expense items.

“Oversight’s Operation Expense Analysis uncovers high-risk behavior and spend inefficiencies that really don’t show up in traditional audit techniques,” said Chief Technology Officer, Dan Kuokka. “The industry-wide patterns revealed in an analysis provide a positive feedback loop for producing better and more actionable insights.” 

Additional analysis reveals a few localized outliers in traveler behavior:

  • Fast food restaurants are most popular in Chicago
  • Bakeries are popular in Seattle, with a median transaction amount well over twice the norm
  • Gifts, cards, novelties, and souvenirs are unusually popular in Cleveland, OH, around four times the typical amounts in other cities
  • Seven cities in Texas account for well over half of all sporting goods store purchases 

The previous Oversight Spend Analysis Report highlighted all instances of potentially hazardous traveler behavior that can arise in large corporate travel programs. The 2015 report builds upon these numbers, while focusing on the specific types of spending that occurs in American cities. In addition to reporting on the risks of fraud, the report explores other problems associated with waste and misuse such as duplicate submissions and suspicious out of pocket expenses, while providing relevant facts, percentages and examples to show how automated transaction analysis can save card programs hundreds of thousands of dollars.

To view Oversight’s Spend Analysis Report 2015, click here.


About Oversight

Oversight Insights On Demand™ is a web based software solution that automates spending program compliance by analyzing 100% of expense report, purchase card, and accounts payable transactions to identify suspicious activity, non-compliant purchases, and inefficient and wasteful spending.  The visibility Oversight offers into the interaction between policy and behavior, offers opportunities for ongoing improvement, and helps companies make smarter business decisions, every day.

Oversight makes a difference within the companies it serves, and has the experience to prove it; analyzing $2 trillion in expenditures annually at Fortune Global 5000 companies and government agencies. Oversight’s solution is strengthened by partnerships with Concur, Oracle, SAP, and TSYS.www.oversightsystems.com.