SAP Concur is adding a new auditing capability to Concur Expense that checks all expense reports for potential issues and irregularities. Dubbed Verify, the tool uses artificial intelligence models based on more than $1 trillion in historical spending data within Concur's platform, along with machine learning, to automatically flag anomalies for review by human auditors, according to the company.
Verify will roll out in the third quarter of 2021 as an add-on service to Concur Expense, the company said.
The Covid-19-fuelled rise of policies permitting work from home—a trend that won't necessarily abate with the pandemic, according to some observers—has led to significant changes in employee spending and expense patterns, Concur noted. That shift has given rise to uncertainty about corporate expense rules—Concur data show that the proportion of expenses categorised as "other" increased by 58 per cent from 2019 to 2020—and inadvertent policy violations, the company said.
Intentional fraud is on the upswing as well; 48 per cent of respondents in a November 2020 survey by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners had seen an increase in employee embezzlement amid the pandemic, and 71 per cent expected that figure to increase over the subsequent 12 months.
Last week, expense management provider Emburse launched an auditing service of its own, Emburse Audit. Like Concur, Emburse touted the combination of AI and machine learning with human auditors as a best-of-both-worlds approach to offer efficiency and accuracy.
Earlier this year, Concur itself rolled out another tool designed to audit expenses in partnership with spend auditing specialist Oversight. That service, Concur Detect by Oversight, is a standalone offering focused more on parsing post-reimbursement data to identify and analyze expense patterns and stem fraud, a Concur spokesperson said. The company is exploring integrations between Detect and the new Verify service, the spokesperson noted, adding that clients "will benefit from both solutions."