Travel & Entertainment Expense Compliance

Published | Thursday, October 27th, 2016


Reduce your pain, get process oversight, and ensure regulatory and policy compliance

Travel and entertainment (T&E) program violations are death by a thousand cuts. While no single expense claim may have a material impact, the aggregate costs of individual misuse, policy violations, vendor errors and high-risk regulatory infractions add up fast—both in money and reputation damage. Enforce compliance, reduce the time-suck of email follow-up, and get oversight with monitoring and automated escalation to prevent expensive and embarrassing violations.

“The first impact was my time: I went from doing seven days (50 hours), down to having my charts within three day—and then I had a day to sit back and analyze my data. And after I was able to analyze it, we found things in our travel policy that weren’t very effective. So we re-evaluated and within the year we changed the policy. Now I have one to two days to actually look at my data, analyze my data and figure out what’s going on. I think that’s the biggest business impact for us.” – Luana Anderson, T&E Program Manager, Equinix

Monitoring T&E expenses is an arduous task if the right solution is not in place. The traditional approach is to rely on internal controls built into the ERP and expense systems themselves. But it is impossible to effectively control business processes and leakage from within such a complex platform. Further, while system controls help govern and enforce policies, these controls can be easily circumvented—be it fraud, error or for the sake of efficiency. For example, most organizations rely on point-in-time managerial approval as their key control, which can easily be manipulated and fails to detect suspicious patterns.

To test and report on expense policy adherence, many organizations cobble together existing solutions, such as spreadsheets and BI tools. Hours are wasted on non-compliant expenses, such as missing requisitions, POs or missing receipts, which burn T&E resources in chasing down evidence to simply process monthly close. And reporting to management by copying into PowerPoint is a tedious task as you race to hit your deadline every month. Manual processes simply cannot provide a sustainable, scalable framework that results in a healthy, compliant T&E program.

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