Your company undoubtedly shifted spending policies as work from home and the stops and starts of travel disrupted business and altered the paths dollars took.
Supply-chain chaos and inflation have further clouded the policy picture. Employees are pushing budget limits to satisfy customers. Many employees have trouble keeping up with policy because, honestly, the changes can be confusing. A few, no doubt, see an opening to slip an expense by the company and take advantage.
Our research at SAP® Concur® validates what many finance managers are seeing. Last year, the spending violation rate increased, meaning more violations per dollar. Overall, excessive personal expenses jumped nearly 22%. That’s plenty of dollars and policy violations on the loose.
It’s challenging to keep policy and the systems and people using them aligned. But it’s possible to stay ahead of noncompliance if you put the right mechanisms in place – ones utilizing automation and digital controls. Once you do, employees can keep up with changes. And you’ll have the clarity needed with each spending decision.
Our tip sheet, Turn Policy Shifts into Clarity, covers five questions to help you examine where your business stands on navigating policy changes, along with tips on how you can improve management of your T&E policy processes.
Do your auditing processes run frequently, quickly, and accurately?
Automation is a start, because a smooth digital process lets you collect expense data and allows your finance team to focus on exceptions and mitigating risk. Incorporating AI and machine learning is a second step, as it can scrutinize expense reports for policy and other compliance issues and detect the difference between errors and outright fraud. The result is regular, accurate audits and employees getting reimbursed faster and at lower cost.
How confident are your employees in their ability to stay compliant?
Employees hear all the time that policies are changing but may wonder how that filters down to their spending and expense reports. Automated workflows let you guide employees to compliant choices, giving in-solution counsel as they book or make other spending decisions. They’ll know if an expense is incorrect without having to know policy word for word, and the company creates a culture of compliance. You’ll gain a better grasp of spending behavior and have the information to adjust policies.
Do your employees have the support to adhere to policy workflows and updates?
For employees to follow current policies, your internal systems and processes must be in sync with those policies. Business and technology experts can work with you to ensure alignment and quickly make adjustments. They can advise on configuration changes and managing travel allowances. In addition, your company can provide 24/7 access to dedicated support. All approaches aim to get the most from your implemented solutions and increase employee adoption and satisfaction.
Can you adapt spending and auditing processes as quickly as policies change?
Speed, efficiency, and competitiveness can coexist with compliance as policies evolve. A cloud-based platform combining human expertise, AI, and machine learning can support that coexistence. AI and machine can automatically detect suspicious or out-of-policy spending and flag those expenses so human auditors can take a closer look. Overall, the combination improves the efficiency and accuracy of auditing processes. And the technology allows you to capture documentation for tax requirements.
Are your policies effective enough to achieve corporate sustainability goals and requirements?
In line with employee preferences and government directives, your company has sustainability goals. A range of capabilities can help. Policy preferences and in-solution tips can guide employees to greener choices during booking. They can also gain insights into their carbon footprints, along with ways to offset the effects of travel. With the trend and expense data collected, you can better assess the travel choices the company provides and weigh greener options for the future. You’ll also be able to maintain compliance with environmental and labor policies and regulations.
Get a copy of our tip sheet for a deeper look into those five questions and the policy clarity you seek.
Read this brief brochure to learn about the comprehensive portfolio of SAP Concur solutions that improve spending visibility and help ensure compliance.