The pandemic has brought about significant changes in employee spend and expense behavior. As workers transitioned from the office to working from home, uncertainty about what was an allowable expense led to accidental policy violations for many companies.
In fact, we see in SAP Concur data that the proportion of expenses categorized as “Other” increased by 58% from 2019 to 2020. The pandemic has undoubtedly heightened the business need around enhanced audit capability.
The SAP Concur organization has a rich history of developing technologies that address the needs of the biggest companies in the world, all the way down to very small businesses. Verify, a new SAP Concur offering, discovers potential spend issues for customers of all sizes. Planned to launch in the third quarter of 2021, Verify can evaluate 100% of a company’s expense reports and identifies anomalies, allowing company auditors to focus only on potential problems, increasing efficiency and allowing them to take steps to correct out-of-policy behaviors.
Verify is based on analysis of more than $1 trillion in spend, and tens of millions of expenses and receipts within the SAP Concur platform. This native user experience is embedded within the Concur Expense solution auditors already use to streamline and simplify the expense management process. Verify uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning from SAP to tap decades of expense data and experience tracking and identifying hard-to-detect spend issues and anomalies.
SAP Concur travel and expense machine learning models used to power Verify have been pressure tested, running in parallel with our Intelligent Audit service for over a year. As a result, customers can hit the ground running with already fine-tuned models.
“Having a quick and clear view into your company’s financial position has never been more important,” said Kevin Permenter, research manager at IDC. “Verify offers users a pathway to enhanced visibility by leveraging a large proprietary SAP Concur data set and advanced artificial intelligence to streamline the review of expenses. Intelligent expense auditing tools like Verify have massive potential to provide customers a way to modernize their expense management processes.”
While most expense report errors are honest mistakes, some employees have taken advantage of the pandemic situation. According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ Fraud in the Wake of COVID-19: Benchmarking Report, as of November 2020, 48% of respondents had observed an increase in employee embezzlement, with 71% expecting that metric to increase in the next 12 months.
As an add-on to Concur Expense, Verify turns insight into action through a simplified audit process. It can review 100% of expense reports, allowing auditors to only focus on exceptions. All of this decreases the time for employees to get paid and empowers auditors to make informed decisions quickly.
Now more than ever, CFOs are on the lookout for leakage and waste to help run an efficient business. Verify reduces the labor-intensive receipt verification process by identifying spending patterns that manual systems may not catch, allowing auditors to focus their efforts on high-value tasks while helping ensure spend follows compliance requirements. Learn more here.
A.G. Lambert is chief product strategy officer for SAP Concur.