Expense pain points for finance managers

For many small and medium sized businesses, nightmares lie buried in stacks of expense reports, waiting to jump out and threaten even the most intrepid finance professional. These are true stories from the vaults of expense excesses, uncovered by Concur. 


Major pain points 

We know the pain is real — our customers tell us they have limited resources for monitoring expense policy compliance: 

  • Often, one person is in charge of reviewing reports. This can cause severe delays in processing reimbursements. At its worst, it can lead to big losses for the business that go undiscovered for years. 

  • The person responsible for reviewing and approving expenses ends up being the Audit Police.  Most people are uneasy in that role. 

  • Swamped managers end up “rubber stamping” their employee expense reports to save time – which means reviewers down the line can be trapped in the approval dungeon for days or even weeks. 


The worst of the worst 

Here are some of the stories we’ve discovered, showing just how unnerving it can get: 

  • Home remodel - A senior level employee remodeled his entire patio/deck and expensed everything in great detail.  Although his entire expense report passed the “defined” audit, this report was escalated to the client’s program administrator for further review.  It was later identified that this senior level employee no longer worked at the business. 

  • Train tickets – The ticketing office printed 3 tickets all showing date and amount. The user was then submitting all 3 receipts (outbound ticket, return ticket and credit card slip) thus claiming 3 times the value he originally paid, $138 for a $46 ticket.  After discovering this, we were able to run reports and analyze different batches that showed this was happening regularly. That provided enough evidence of system abuse for the client to take further action. 

  • Taxi Receipts – We are also trained in validation to question handwritten taxi receipts. We have seen examples where users have amended the claim by adding a “1” thus changing the claim from $11 to $111.  The auditor discovered this was at validation, raising suspicions of the value within the claim fields “Taxi from home to train station”.  Again we ran reports and looked for patterns to provide this information to the line manager. 

  • Bribery - A user from a well-known newspaper submitted a claim for two bottles of vodka with the description “bribe to security guards to get access to camp”. Eeek! 


A scary movie can make you jump and get your heart hammering, but it pales in comparison to the horrors of outrageous expense report errors and abuses and what they can do to your business. 


Attend our webinar “Taking the pain out of the expense review process” and learn how Concur can help you catch more expense errors, increase policy compliance, and improve productivity. Register today! 



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