Travel & Expense Finance AI Did You Know?

The top 3 expense audit analytics tools you can’t live without

by Uri Kogan July 26, 2021

In this edition of our “Did You Know?” series, we look at the use of self-service reporting and analytics within the finance department. 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.

What data and reporting tools do modern finance teams need? 

Today, digital dashboards containing key performance indicators and other relevant metrics are essential tools for any CFO. They are critical to finance analytics. According to PWC, 72% of organizations track between 5 and 20 KPIs across areas such as general company performance, resource allocation, long- and short-term strategic goals, and managerial performance. In the finance department, this can be done using digital systems such as AppZen Expense Audit.

So what are the most important analytics tools for finance teams within their metrics toolbox? Here are our top three:

  1. Team policy compliance dashboard

Many finance leaders are drawn to data dashboards at either end of the reporting spectrum, focusing on overall organizational performance at one end and individual performance at the other. However, for managers, a vital tool is the team policy compliance dashboard. This focuses on spend patterns, compliance, and risky behavior within their specific team of employees. AppZen Expense Audit provides intuitive, visual dashboards with drill-down capabilities to allow managers to review employee spend activity at all levels, from the overall team to the individual staff member. 

Automated notification emails, delivered to each manager with alerts for unusual or excessive behavior and non-compliance, extend the effectiveness and interactivity of the team policy compliance dashboard. This offers an insightful view on this often-overlooked dimension of expense auditing.

  1. High-risk employee reports

Not all employee spend is created equal, and some report lines warrant additional investigation. These items are known as high-risk spend and contain expense lines that exhibit certain characteristics:

  • Extremely high value
  • Out-of-policy spend
  • Missing receipts or receipt affidavits
  • Spend from suspicious or blacklisted merchants
  • Potential personal expenses

Identifying the high-risk items on expense audit reports is critical for enabling faster action by managers who need to remediate out-of-policy issues. AppZen Expense Audit dashboards deliver information on high-risk spend and the amount of rejected spend, visibility into outstanding risk, and the ability to audit 100% of expense reports. All of this can then be broken down by employee, team, department, and expense type. Real-time alerts and emails further inform the auditor that an expense line needs additional inspection, allowing for clarification or rejection before any reimbursement is made.  

  1. Repeat and team offender insights

While the odd employee slip-up on an expense report is understandable, repeat occurrences can become a problem. Using the AI-enabled tools in AppZen Expense Audit allows finance professionals to identify challenging, non-compliant employee behavior across all your teams and implement appropriate action. The ability to perform this detection across multiple reports, employees, departments, and time is critical to spotting underlying patterns and trends, all of which can be visualized in real time via the AppZen Expense Audit dashboard. Whether identifying duplicate submission of receipts across different monthly reports or two employees submitting the same receipt for a team meal, spotting repeat behavior quickly and easily enables frontline managers to monitor and enforce expense policy compliance without fuss.

Summary 

Finance teams hold the key to analyzing the financial data that challenges the business and contributes to operational decision-making. They are seen as the catalysts for driving business transformation, and a vital conduit linking strategic objectives and financial goals.

Gone are the days when end-of-the-month, paper-based reports on reams of continuous-feed paper from dot-matrix printers were good enough. To govern employee spend effectively, CFOs and their teams need accurate, real-time, self-service data and analytics. Exactly the type of tools provided by AppZen Expense Audit.


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!

Uri Kogan

Vice President of Product Marketing