For businesses of a given size, expense reporting is important. Certify revealed that almost 43% of enterprises check each expense manually in a bid to make sure it matches with corporate policies.
It also revealed that the process goes further deeper as opposed to just focusing on erroneous, late and lost receipts. Other than the amount of work involved, expense report fraud is also an expensive undertaking that costs companies almost $2.8 billion annually.
The Head of Product at AppZen Andrew Chiang is highly convinced that artificial intelligence can ease the burden associated with expense reporting. “You don’t need a manager to approve and see every expense report, Chiang’s words. “There’s a better way.”
Aside from that, AppZen, a startup based in San Jose, California, recently unveiled Insights, which is a feature included in its software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform dubbed Expense Audit. This platform gets rid of the need for auditors and managers to approve travel receipts separately.
Currently, Insights is available to Expense Audit customers as an extra product offering. Before the launch of this feature, Expense Audit required account administrators to not only track but also report expenses submitted via Concur, Coupa, Oracle, and Workday among other reporting services. Presently, AppZen is confident in Expense Audit’s ability to delegate such tasks to algorithms.
Anant Kale, Fujitsu America’s former VP, and the current CEO and co-founder of AppZen, said that Insights marks an exciting upgrade for the company since it shows how AI can disrupt a reimbursement and control process in finance that has been there for a long time while considerably boosting employee satisfaction and compliance.
He added “this new product allows senior managers to spot leakage, misuse and bad behaviors across the organization. We also understand that approving expense reports is not the best use of these talented peoples’ time. That’s where this new product comes in, as the insight layer to our expense audit product.”
For Insights to work, Expense Audit first assigns employees a score that is drawn from each travel document, receipt and report submitted. Using the web and hundreds of internal data, Insights is able to identify and authorize reimbursements for items that fall under a clients’ approved list and highlight possible transgressions that call for a closer look.
Managers can filter expenses between cost centers, policies and departments before quickly landing to top spending areas as well as high-risk employees. All this can take place within the Expense Audit dashboard. The concept behind this is to surface information that will result in impactful and proactive conversations with repeat offenders as well as flagging hidden expenses such as gentleman’s clubs and spa treatments.
Chiang accepts the fact that the system will not always be right, which explains the reasons it lets managers mark false positives. However, the Senior Director of Product Marketing Ryan Floersch, said that the system minimizes costs by 80% and that it can detect 10 times the cases of fraudulent claims a human being can.
Currently, AppZen has over 290 customers including Comcast, Salesforce, DHL, Airbus, IBM, Sunrun, Intuit, DHL, Amazon, and Tesla among many others. Additionally, it has secured about $17 million in financing to date.