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Controlling Employee Spend Through TEM Auditing

March 6, 2015      

Controlling Employee Spend Through TEM Auditing

A traveling workforce is essential in today’s corporate atmosphere, especially as globalization picks up speed. As a result, Travel and Expense Management (TEM) software has become increasingly important for organizations wanting to maintain control and increase the efficiency of their on-the-go employees. TEM solutions offer pre-trip planning, mobile expense report submission, expense approval workflow, employee reimbursement, and reporting and analytics.  However, while most of these functions help ensure company efficiency and drive productivity, packaged business intelligence and analytics features often fall short of completely monitoring and controlling employee spend.

Reporting and analytics functionality is very important for many organizations. In a recent survey of hundreds of corporate travel managers, PayStream Advisors asked respondents about their organizations’ top 2015 process improvement goals. Over one-third of respondents chose reporting and business intelligence as their top focus for improvement, while 41 percent chose overall process automation, see Figure 1.

Figure 1: TEM Solutions Bring Desired Benefits
“Which of the following improvements is your organization focusing on the most in 2015?”


 Travel & Expense Management Auditing


Most TEM solutions offer spend analytics tools to round out their already robust expense reporting software, but the incomplete nature of these applications bring little value to organizations’ hoping to improve employee compliance. However, the use of stand-alone travel expense auditing solutions is an important strategy for improving reporting and business intelligence. They provide organizations with a way to monitor expenses, drive down costs, and increase savings as a result. Unfortunately, many organizations do not realize how greatly these tools enhance existing reporting and auditing procedures.

PayStream asked respondents about their organizations’ methods for monitoring T&E spend. Results show that the majority of organizations trust their travel expense auditing to in-house staff, see Figure 2.

Figure 2: Most Organizations Rely On In-House Staff to Perform Audits
“Who performs expense report audits in your organization?”

TEM Auditing


Reliance on in-house resources for spend analysis results in more errors and less control for organizations—especially if these organizations have a high number of traveling employees to account for. In addition, managers miss discrepancies when conducting a manual monitoring process, or only have time to do a sample-based audit, and they aren’t able to properly investigate employee spend. Attempting damage control on bad expense reports is not effective if the AP department can’t access or analyze all the damage.

Most AP departments have inferior reporting features—if they are using a solution at all. Many reporting applications that come packaged with larger solutions only offer simple alerts and low-level capabilities. This lack of TEM auditing tools hampers companies from reaching full T&E efficiency. Just as an expense reporting process without supervision and monitoring is incomplete, a TEM software without a thorough reporting and analysis component also gives an incomplete picture of company spend.

Fortunately, there is an answer to this problem. Monitoring the back end of the TEM process with a stand-alone auditing system improves and optimizes front end activity. TEM auditing solutions complete the picture of TEM efficiency by combining spending review with concise and powerful reporting.

Oversight is a provider of such TEM audit technology. Oversight’s Insights On Demand™ software analyzes 100 percent of expense transactions to detect and eliminate fraud, errors, misuse, and waste within spending programs. Their full-service auditing software not only allows for transparent and in-depth review, but also enables easy case management and follow-up with employees.  The results of this analysis help organizations see which spending policies work, which policies need to change, and which employees need compliance reminders.

Insights On Demand is cost-effective and easy to deploy. To ensure easy integration with existing TEM systems, Oversight has partnerships with Concur, as well as Total Systems (TSYS), a back-end card program for all major banks, but also works with most other TEM systems. Users of partner companies can directly import data through the cloud into the Oversight system. Oversight’s solution also includes TEM benchmarking, and the system’s self-service model allows organizations to tailor analysis to their specific business structures. In all, Oversight is more than just reporting—it is a detective, line of business control.

The workplace is hectic, and professionals’ workloads are heavy.  The use of a TEM auditing solution like Oversight’s is just as essential for efficient T&E as other automated expense reporting features like travel booking and receipt capture. TEM auditing solutions improve the quality of financial controls by influencing behavior, shaping spend policies, and increasing audit scope—without straining departmental resources.

Oversight Company Bio:

Oversight delivers analysis that helps companies make smarter business decisions through increased corporate insight. Oversight Insights On Demand™ aims to answer the questions every organizations must ask of their data, helping users drive actionable, cost-effective results at the front line of business.

Oversight makes a difference within the companies it serves, and has the experience to prove it, analyzing $1.9 trillion in expenditures annually at Fortune Global 5000 companies and government agencies. Oversight also boasts partnerships with Concur, Oracle, SAP and TSYS. Learn more.

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