How Non-Compliant is Your T&E and P-Card Spend?

services sector Viacheslav Lakobchuk/Adobe Stock

Gaining better compliance on your spending is not a new topic, but it’s still a daunting one for many reasons. Compliance takes many forms: regulatory compliance, internal compliance to contract, supplier compliance to contract and source-to-pay process compliance that affects the others. Therefore, your compliance analytics have to accommodate many different requirements, and we recommend including these analytics on your evolutionary journey from simple forensic “spent analysis” of PO and accounts payable (A/P) history to more strategic predictive supply analytics. We’re documenting this journey in our 50 Shades of Pay series on spend analytics, and we actually just completed a five-part mini-series on this topic of spend compliance on Spend Matters Plus that you can sink your teeth into. (See the related links below.)

One of the issues we dive into is the detailed implementation issue of analyzing spend that originates from a p-card channel and a T&E channel, which has overlap if you’re using travel cards. These channels are rife with maverick spending, unless you’re one of the rare firms that has line item spend visibility down to a commodity and contract level, and have also embedded failsafe controls into your buy-side systems, including supplier punchouts, T&E systems, and p-card transactions. Your T&E system will likely have some level of policy controls when you book a flight, room or car, but T&E users normally get rather creative with the expense reimbursement channel, albeit often for understandable reasons.

T&E is a strange animal, because it’s both a mega spend category and also a set of processes, so unless you can manage both dimensions, you’ll inevitably face T&E non-compliance issues that add unneeded costs. So, to slay this beast you’ll need to transform many areas related to policy, process, T&E suppliers, data management and detailed spend analytics that you’ll need to deal with this complexity. To do that, we also recommend “sizing the prize” with a good diagnostic that you can use to prioritize and attack. In a subsequent Spend Matters PRO article, we’ll dive deep into one specialist provider we’ve recently assessed in this space. Stay tuned!

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