Personal expense or valid business spend? With AI, it’s black and white

by Gary Malhotra August 3, 2021

In this segment of our “Did You Know?” series, we examine the blurred lines between personal and business expenses, and suggest tools and insights that can help. This ongoing series highlights the capabilities and benefits of AppZen Expense Audit, bringing you deeper into what makes it tick and how you can take advantage.

The line between “business” and “personal” expenses is blurring at a dizzying pace. An employee putting in a long day of work at home should definitely be appreciated by their manager. However, if they self-reward with an expensive dinner to equalize the erstwhile evening pizza at the office pantry, is it a legitimate business expense?

How about an employee getting a face lift or expensive hair-do or buying high-end glasses frames because they now spend so much of their time in front of customers on Zoom calls? They could make an argument that these are essential to making an impression on their prospects. The answer, again, depends on the organization’s corporate expense policy. 

Many organizations are still in the process of updating expense policies to reflect the new realities of the hybrid work environment. In the meantime, employees are spending on what they think is “business appropriate.”

Expense and audit managers are often unaware of the changing composition of personal items bought and expensed by employees in the new work-from-home environment. They need new tools and insights to monitor company corporate cards and enforce spend policies in the new normal. They need to eliminate unnecessary personal expenses that employees might try to hide as legitimate business expenses.

AppZen’s Mastermind AI flags nearly all personal employee spend, bundled with or hidden under receipt lines for business expenses on merchant receipts. AppZen detects personal purchases by reading the purchase information on receipts and identifying any non-business items. Nearly all personal employee spend disguised as business expenses can be automatically captured.

Further, AppZen detects if an employee has claimed personal meals as business expenses by looking at weekend expenses not related to travel. AppZen catches ten times the number of personal spend transactions than clients can achieve with a manual review.

To learn more about how you can ensure travel compliance and audit 100% of expenses prior to reimbursement, request a demo. Wondering what else AppZen Expense Audit can do? Check out the rest of our “Did You Know?” series, check out AppZen Expense Audit on the web, or reach out!

Gary Malhotra

VP - Product Marketing, AppZen Inc.