Travel & Expense Did You Know?

How AppZen helps you stop duplicate spend

by Deniece Moxy July 12, 2021

Our ongoing “Did you know” series highlights the capabilities and benefits of AppZen Expense Audit, bringing you deeper into what makes it tick and how you can take advantage. In this segment, we look at duplicate spend in your T&E systems.

We’ve all been there. You arrive home after an exhausting business trip with a pile of receipts stuffed in your backpack or in an envelope. If you’re really on top of it, maybe you have a bunch of photos in your phone’s photo library. But filing the expense report probably isn’t at the top of your list of urgent priorities when you walk in the door. Maybe a week later, you get around to it.

A couple of weeks after that, you find another receipt in your bag. Is it one you already filed? Or maybe it’s the credit card receipt from the meal that you submitted with an itemized receipt. Hard to say. Better file just in case, right?

There are lots of reasons duplicates might show up in an employee’s expense reports. They needn’t be malicious attempts to double-dip. But finding all the duplicates can be really tricky, and that’s where Mastermind AI, which powers Appzen’s Expense Audit, can really deliver the goods.

Like some other systems, AppZen will flag duplicates based on the same expense amount, dates, and merchants in the entered expense line information. This is, frankly, table stakes. But because of the power and finance knowledge of Mastermind AI, Expense Audit goes much, much further.

In the example above, when someone submits a credit card receipt for the same restaurant meal they previously expensed with an itemized receipt, the timestamp is different. It might be twenty minutes between when you receive the itemized receipt and put down your credit card, and when you receive the final receipt for signature. If you’re out late, the date might even be different if the first printout came right before midnight. What’s more, the final total will be different once you add the tip.

When you have thousands of employees filing expense reports, sometimes they make innocent mistakes when they type. They might enter a total of $54.45 once and then accidentally resubmit as $45.54, even though it’s the same transaction.

An even harder to track situation is when two receipts are submitted separately by two different employees. Let’s say those two employees are colleagues from different countries at a conference together. In some companies, they might even be using two different expense management systems, so any in-system duplicate checks would never be triggered. It's also very likely that any kind of manual sign-off will be done by different managers and auditing by different auditors.

Every one of the situations above is one that the Mastermind AI powering AppZen’s Expense Audit knows how to handle. Why is it so good?

It’s not just that it’s been trained on over 300 million expenses, though that makes it astonishingly accurate. And it’s not just that it’s built seamlessly into your workflow and audits 100% of expenses from Day One, though that means nothing will slip through the cracks. 

And it’s not just that it has a perfect memory for every line item, receipt, report, and employee it’s ever seen from your company, though that means it never forgets what another employee submitted five months ago. In fact, on average, the number of duplicates that AppZen customers find from the first month they are using the system to the twelfth month increases 700%! That means that most of the duplicates the system finds require months and months of data because the duplicate submissions filter into expenses submitted much later.

These are all very valuable, of course, but what really makes this solution so different and so powerful is the way it reads and understands the receipt itself. Regardless of what information is entered in the expense report, it can figure out when the same receipt has been submitted twice (even if it’s faded, or partially folded, or upside down, or crinkled) or multiple receipts representing the same transaction have been submitted (because it can figure out that the underlying transaction is the same).

Because it has the power to go beyond the expense line, Expense Audit can save you real dollars — up to 2-5%, when you add in other checks for unauthorized spend. And if there are folks who are repeatedly submitting duplicate expenses, you can more easily identify them, have a conversation about their need for expense hygiene, or take more drastic action, if necessary.

If you’re ready to deep-six duplicates, there’s really only one tool for the job: AppZen Expense Audit.   

Wondering what else AppZen Expense Audit can do? Check out AppZen Expense Audit on the web, or reach out!

Deniece Moxy

Senior Manager- Product Marketing