AppZen Use Cases

Prevent invoice and expense fraud

Your finance team has seen it all before: unauthorized airline upgrades on business trips, sham charges from shell companies, inflated vendor invoices, and more. With AI, you can audit 100% of spend to root out invoice and expense fraud before you pay.

Audit 100% of spend in advance

Fraud and errors inevitably slip through the traditional audit process, since human auditors rarely (if ever) have enough time to review every invoice and expense report before it’s paid out. Sometimes your company can claw back this money after the fact, but oftentimes you won’t realize you overpaid at all.

AI puts money back in your pocket by quickly and comprehensively scanning all spend for risk factors before you pay. AI finds problems that are impossible to spot in a manual process, such as duplicate charges submitted by the same vendor in two different months or two employees who submit the same dinner receipt.

2-10%

spend visibility without AI

Key use cases

Audit 100 percent of spend prior to payment

Review or audit all expenses and payables before you pay a cent. Because AI is automated and real time, you can review all spend for duplicate payments and pay suppliers and employees on time.

Understand documents

Extract and understand key information like dates, amounts, and spend categories from unstructured documents such as contracts, invoices, and receipts. These data points can serve as powerful clues in your duplicate payment detection process.

Enrich with intelligence

Enrich spend information with intelligence from business systems and external sources. AI gives you the visibility you need to find the duplicates you’d never be able to detect in traditional payment systems.

Assess and refine risk

Use AI to assess risk consistently. Refine the way you evaluate risk based on new data and user feedback over time. This lets you take automated action on duplicate payments and other types of errors, waste, and fraud.

Streamline process

Automate workflows, remove extraneous steps, and arm reviewers with the information they need to make smart decisions. Streamlining your review process lets you review all spend in real time, at scale.

Invoice fraud prevention

Thousands of invoices come through the typical AP department every month, and paying them quickly can take precedence over verifying their accuracy. Invoice fraud appears in many forms: from shell companies billing for services that they never provided, to fake invoices from legitimate vendors, to vendors neglecting to apply the volume discounts you negotiated in your contract. Artificial intelligence can help prevent fraud by identifying high-risk invoices so your team can investigate before you pay. AI looks for factors like:

Changes in pricing

This includes both spikes (e.g., if a regular monthly charge of $60,000 suddenly rises to $70,000 without an explanation) and more gradual changes (say, a couple extra dollars added every month)

Suspicious purchase order limit anomalies

There might be a nefarious reason they’re so eager to fly under the radar. AI flags when suppliers consistently submit invoices before the limit at which your company requires purchase orders.

Duplicate charges

About two percent of a typical corporation’s AP invoices are duplicates, according to AuditNet. Whether fraudulent or mistaken, that extra cost can really add up and be surprisingly hard to detect. Invoice automation systems typically only catch duplicates if the invoices have the same invoice number or exact same total, which isn’t always the case.

Volume discounts that aren’t applied

What’s the use of your procurement team negotiating volume discounts in your contracts if the vendor doesn’t apply them? AI can compare every invoice to its appropriate contract to make sure you get every last dollar in savings.

2%

of a typical corporation’s AP invoices are duplicates, according to AuditNet

How to prevent expense reimbursement fraud

Expense report fraud cases vary in egregiousness, but all of them silently siphon funds from your bottom line. For example, an employee may expense a $20 Starbucks run, but actually purchase a gift card for personal use. Maybe your sales manager booked a pricey Airbnb in an expensive city, but really stayed at a friend’s house, which he convinced them to list for an exorbitant price in exchange for splitting the profits. An executive may have expensed a dinner that was actually a visit to a strip club. While these examples may sound extreme, you name it, we’ve flagged it.

With audit teams too strapped to take a close look at expense reports, and managers making a practice of rubber-stamping reports, this type of behavior too often flies under the radar. AI helps spot employee expense fraud by quickly and comprehensively scanning all expense reports for risk factors, such as purchase amounts that don’t match receipts, receipts from unapproved vendors (ahem, strip clubs), out-of-policy spend (e.g., alcohol or flight upgrades), and more. Some of the most common expense fraud risk factors AI looks for include:

Duplicate claims

An employee submits a receipt for a client dinner in March, then the same receipt again in May.

Out-of-policy spend

Spas, strip clubs, golf courses, dog kennels, jewelry stores… the possibilities are endless.

Travel “tweaks”

These include booking personal flights on a business card, buying an expensive flight then cancelling and rebooking to pocket the difference, upgrading to business class.

Over-the-top meals

If employees think they’ll get away with it, why wouldn’t they order the most expensive whiskey on the menu?

If employees know that you’re using AI to track expense reports, they’re likely to be a little less… adventurous with their expense reports. This understanding creates an atmosphere of accountability within your organization, without pitting managers against employees or taking up tons of your audit team’s time. Plus, AI identifies patterns within your organization’s spending behavior so you can proactively address systemic expense report fraud or determine if your T&E policy needs to be adjusted.

10%

of expenses are high risk

ROI calculator for AI spend auditing

Calculate your ROI on auditing 100 percent of expenses and invoices, prior to payment, with artificial intelligence.

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