Finance News & Insights

Study uncovers disturbing questions about T&E process

Concerned about your T&E process? Some recent research indicates that you should be. 

In fact, 23% of travelers think it’s acceptable to make exaggerated expense claims, according to a new survey by Concur.

And on top of that, 39% of managers admit to signing off on expenses they believe are non-compliant with company policy.

So between travelers’ exaggerated claims and managers’ slapdash approvals, it’s more important than ever for Finance staffers to be extra careful.

The straight and narrow

Your A/P staffers can catch the errors managers overlook. But if managers catch expense errors first, they won’t have to go back later when A/P finds them. It’s a win for managers and for A/P.

Here are three ways A/P folks can get managers to take a closer look at claims and stay compliant with policy:

1. CC those emails. If approver Ron always seems to overlook non-compliant expenses, A/P should send him an email about it, and CC his manager on the email. This lets Ron know that his boss is aware of his mistake, and may make him more cautious in the future.

You can also CC the traveler whose expense it was, so he or she becomes aware that the particular purchase isn’t covered by the company.

2. Highlight repeat misses. Is there a certain expense that always seems to get approved when it shouldn’t? Start keeping a file of purchases managers frequently overlooked. Then create a cheat sheet for managers – a “this is what you’re missing” document they can keep hanging by their desk or pull up on the computer when it’s time to approve expense reports.

3. Keep the lines of communication open. When purchases that shouldn’t be approved sneak through the cracks, it’s a financial loss for the company.

So A/P needs to be in consistent contact with upper management if a specific approver keeps overlooking non-compliant purchases.

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