If There Was Ever a Time to Keep an Eye on Your Money, It’s Always

With the shift to remote and hybrid workers, it’s getting harder and harder to tell how much of employee spending crosses the line. While the bulk of employee spend is legitimate, are the purchases of home office equipment or ordering expensive meals for clients? For themselves? For fun? When you get a $1,500 receipt from Amazon, you don’t know if it’s milk or a home-theatre system, which they definitely don’t need for work.

According to a recent SAP Concur Spend Insight Report sponsored by Oversight, organisational spend risk has nearly tripled since the beginning of the pandemic, and remote work has become an open invitation to high-risk and highly questionable spending. One customer, for example, had an employee try to pass off a wide screen TV as a work-from-home expense.

Anomalies like this might be easy to catch (though that’s not always the case), but how do you know if the $100 gift card you’re paying for is for a customer or for an employee’s personal use? How do you tell if a meal delivery was gifted to a client or devoured by one of your sales people?

This is just plain wrong.
Spend violations is increasing significantly. According to the report, T&E spend infractions shot up 292%. In the confusion and relative chaos that ensued with the rapid shift to remote work, out-of-pocket and fraud violations are inching up too.

It isn’t all intentional, of course. But as more and more employees become corporate spenders – without corporate cards – more and more mistakes are going to happen.

And yes, it matters if it’s accidental or intentional. But at the end of the day, your company’s money is going out the door, and it’s not coming back.

What can you do?
The massive changes we all went through demands a commitment to continuous improvement. It requires us as finance leaders to re-examine how we manage spending to make sure the policies and processes we used to count on can keep up with today’s changes and challenges. It means we must find new ways of monitoring employee spend to maintain compliance even when those employees aren’t in the office. It necessitates stronger cost controls and more fluid processes, so that we can adapt the rules to our current reality while making them harder to break.

The SAP Concur/Oversight report offers a hefty list of suggested actions to take on spending and its inherent risks. It includes everything from monitoring spend in high-risk categories, to expanding corporate card programs, to beefing up your audits.

So take a look at the report today, then speak with your SAP Concur representative or contact us for more.