Those who work in Finance have likely dealt with situations where their teams are often swamped with expense reports. The last few years have caused shifts in traditional office setups, and with remote work, decentralised operations and frequent travels, maintaining expense compliance can feel like chasing a moving target, especially for those who still rely on manual reviews. 

Finance teams often need to spend a lot of time reviewing claims to ensure compliance and handling numerous manual reviews. Non-compliant submissions, such as lunch deliveries paid with company cards, unreadable receipts, or first-class bookings, add to the workload. They’re also more common than you would think, with Cifas reporting that 49% of employee dishonesty in 2023 involved such conduct. Sifting through all those expenses is time-consuming, yet mistakes can still happen, making it an unsustainable option in the long run. 

This is where AI-powered solutions come into play. These technologies can significantly help companies that struggle to maintain compliance, especially in expense management. Imagine a system that can scan and analyse your employees’ expenses in seconds, flagging potential issues before they become problems. A tool that can understand if employees have already submitted a claim and even translate receipts in real-time. 

It seems unreachable, but if recent technological advancements have taught us one thing, it’s that sometimes, even the things that seem beyond possibility can become a reality.  

The challenges of maintaining expense compliance

Maintaining expense compliance has been a challenge for organisations, especially in the last few years, as more and more companies have embraced remote work and decentralised operations. This has also led to new challenges, as finance teams often need to navigate local rules and regulations across different countries, as each region has its own standards and requirements. It’s up to the finance team to ensure that every expense claim complies with all these guidelines.  

At the same time, ensuring that all employees follow internal policies can also pose challenges, especially for those who still rely on traditional methods of manual expense management. This process requires finance to meticulously review and verify all expense reports, and as a Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) report states, it can take around 18 minutes to correct each report, a time-consuming task that can still be prone to human error. 

Technology can significantly help companies that struggle to maintain compliance,

It’s not uncommon for employees to submit expenses by mistake, such as personal purchases mislabelled as business expenses, missing receipts or claims that exceed policy limits. But if all these claims need to be manually reviewed, companies face a serious risk of some of them slipping through, leading to compliance breaches and even financial losses. In the long run, this jeopardises the company’s integrity and diverts resources from high-value and strategic activities.  

Companies can implement multiple strategies to avoid this issue, such as clarifying the policy and providing training to employees. While those might be able to reduce the issue, it’s highly unlikely that all non-compliant expense claims will simply vanish from one day to the next unless you leap into the future and move to an AI-powered expense management solution. 

Transforming expense management with AI-powered solutions

Artificial Intelligence has been gradually transforming our lives in multiple ways. For businesses, especially those that deal with multiple expense claims, it has led us into a new era where teams can become more efficient, precise, and productive. From automating routine tasks to providing insightful data analysis in real-time, AI is gradually becoming an essential ally for finance teams.  

It’s not uncommon for employees to submit expenses by mistake, but if all claims need to be manually reviewed, companies face serious risks of compliance breaches and even financial losses.

Using AI-powered expense management systems can bring multiple benefits to organisations, as they often offer user-friendly interfaces that can scan and analyse expenses in seconds, often on the go. Rydoo, for instance, allows employees to scan receipts and uses OCR technology to scan all the key information and auto-populate the claim in under 10 seconds.  

With the new Smart Audit Module, the system goes a step further, as it uses advanced keyword detection that thoroughly analyses each invoice, checks it against company policy and flags all potential violations. Through AI, the software can automatically detect out-of-policy items such as alcohol or tobacco purchases, flag invalid receipts whether they’re unreadable or if they contain handwritten amounts, and it can even understand if that same receipt had already been submitted before.  

How Rydoo Smart Audit can avoid non-compliant claims

Imagine an employee goes out to lunch with a client. They take a train to get there but decide to upgrade their coach ticket to first class. At the restaurant, they order an exclusive bottle of wine, and the bill exceeds the amount permitted for meals with clients. When they submit both receipts, Rydoo Smart Audit will detect the first-class ticket, identify the bottle of wine and check that the amount goes beyond what’s stated in the company policy. It will then flag all of these warnings to the approver so they can choose to either approve or reject the expense.

But the system goes beyond keyword detection and checking for out-of-policy items. Has an invoice been submitted in a language you don’t understand? It can automatically translate it for you in seconds, so you can have full access to all the necessary data to make a more informed decision. It can even identify conflicts when expense attendees are missing or have conflict claims, such as per diem allowances.

In most cases, these situations happen because employees are not familiar with the expense policy or have simply made a mistake. However, there are some situations where users might be doing it on purpose by fabricating expenses or even handwriting new amounts on an invoice. And while it could go unnoticed with a manual process, Rydoo’s AI-powered solution can detect these infractions and immediately flag them to the user, the approver and even the finance team. This way, the situation can be immediately addressed, it saves on costs, and the company can avoid a fraud accusation in case of an external audit.  

Switching to AI-powered solutions ensures that all expenses meet internal and local regulations, boosting the finance teams’ productivity, without sacrificing efficiency and control.

This new module can easily be combined with other features, such as customisable expense rules. These rules allow teams to automate the approval of low-risk and recurrent claims, such as software subscriptions or purchases under a specific category, like office supplies, under a specific amount. When the expense that falls under one of these rules is created, AI will analyse all the key information from the invoice and the system will automatically approve or flag for manual review. No more double or triple checking lengthy policies. All your team needs to do is focus on the expenses that really need their attention.  

Switching to AI-powered expense management systems transforms compliance by automating policy checks and detecting fraudulent claims in real-time. This ensures that all expenses meet internal and local regulations, freeing finance teams so they can focus on strategic tasks and boost their productivity, without sacrificing efficiency and control.  

The future holds great opportunities for AI to revolutionise compliance even further. As technology keeps evolving, tools will become more and more sophisticated. For those who want to stay ahead of the curve, this is the time to equip your team with the right solution and embrace the power of a fully digitised expense solution.