Artificial intelligence (AI) has received mixed reviews. On the one hand, its ability to automate tasks, process vast amounts of data, and interact with users has been proven to create efficiencies and enhance productivity. But on the other hand, there are concerns about AI replacing humans and taking away jobs.
At SAP Concur, AI technology underpins our core travel, expense, and invoice solutions. It’s also what powers Verify, our self-serve audit service within Concur Expense that can automatically check 100% of expense reports to help identify potential compliance issues. It uses AI and machine learning from SAP Concur to tap decades of expense user data that helps identify hard-to-detect spend issues and anomalies.
Verify is a great example of how humans remain an important part of today’s workforce and of how humans plus AI technology can deliver better results than either could independently. Even the most advanced AI systems have gaps. For those, at SAP Concur, we augment the technology with a 24/7 team of human auditors to keep accuracy high and false positives low.
In the past year, Verify performed over 38 million audit checks on expense reports submitted through Concur Expense. Each month, on average, one-third of expense reports analyzed by Verify are flagged for organizations to review potential errors and policy violations.
Before errors are flagged to organizations, the AI results are validated by a team of Verify auditors. The team represents a special part of our workforce because most of them have some form of hearing loss. Not only has AI created their roles, but as technology becomes more and more accessible, it’s provided valuable career opportunities to the deaf community. We rely on these workers to help SAP Concur drive a strategic part of our innovation strategy to help make auditing easier for Concur Expense customers.
“The Verify auditors are very special to us,” said Tom Olsen, VP of Managed Business Services at SAP Concur, who works directly with the team. “We partner with Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS) to create a diverse, inclusive, and accessible workplace that includes a sign language interpreter to develop training and work materials, even down to fire safety and emergency plans.”
New Audit Checks
We’re thankful for our team of Verify auditors as well as our customers, whose feedback makes us run our best. As we continue to learn from Verify customers, we’ve recently added 10 checks that can alert customers of potential issues prior to reports being paid. Scenarios include duplicate receipts – even across employees – old dates, personal use of a company card, unreasonable amount, improper merchant category, and more.
These additional checks, inspired by the companies using Verify, help increase the amount of policy variation that can be enforced by the service. It can also help improve the speed to reimbursement by allowing common issues to be identified early in the workflow. Additionally, it can create efficiency for auditors by reducing the need to manually check reports for noncompliance.
That’s not all that’s new. Verify is now generally available for enterprise customers as well.
Tim Lebel is vice president and head of Spend Products at SAP Concur.
This article first appeared on the SAP Concur blog.