Procure-to-Pay Travel & Expense Purchase Card

The #2 problem lurking in corporate spending programs: Waste.

on October 02, 2014

Last week, Oversight debuted its first-ever Spend Analysis Report, a compilation of data we gathered from an analysis of 10 million transactions. Those 10 million transactions totaled $1 Billion in spend, and was made by a group of just 160,000 travelers. Pretty cool, right?

In our first blog post in a three-part series, we discussed the first of three major problems lurking in corporate spending programs. This week we are going to discussed another major issue: Waste.

Waste is a huge area for lost dollars for any company-spending program. One of the biggest factors that contribute to this “waste” are duplicate expenses, or instances where the same item was expensed on more than one expense report.

Don’t be alarmed: duplicate submissions can occur for a variety of reasons. One of these is someone intentionally attempting to defraud the company. An example of this would be a meal between colleagues: one pays for the meal on the company card. The other takes the receipt and expenses it as an out-of-pocket expense.

Another reason for a duplicate expense could be someone making an honest mistake, like forgetting if they submitted a plane ticket for reimbursement. People are busy, it definitely happens.

Whether these duplicate expenses happened harmlessly or with a malicious intent, duplicates are an area of incredible vulnerability for corporate spending programs. In our own analysis, 10% of the travelers had at least one duplicate expense on their expense report.

From our set of 10 million transactions, 75,000 were duplicates. With each transaction having an average value of $50 per expense, this totals nearly $3.8M in duplicate submissions- alone. This scary fact is enough to make waste a serious issue because of the significant wasted dollars in play.

But how do you successfully find those duplicate expenses? You could invest in an expensive manual audit of each transaction, or you could implement a transaction monitoring systems that automatically scans for duplicate expenses and lays them at your feet via an automated workflow management system. Such a technology does exist, in fact, and it is called Oversight Insights On Demand™.

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