Rubber Stamping: It Could be Saving You Time, but Costing you Money

From trade show costs and conference room rentals, to consulting fees, subscriptions, training, and office supplies, many employees have purchasing power beyond traditional travel and event expenses. Because expenses are diverse and are used in a variety of ways across a business, they require scrutiny that many managers don’t have time for.  According to a report by the Global Business Travel Association, 19% of expense reports have errors, it takes an average of 18 minutes and $52 to fix one expense report.

When processes like rubber stamping of expense reports get out of control, it’s no good for business-especially during these unprecedented times. While these oversights are rarely the reviewer’s mistake, they can be avoided. Errors may happen for a few reasons:

  1. A lack of clarity on process and compliance may open the door to wasteful spending, budget overruns, and even fraud. This presents potential reputational damage along with legal and financial penalties.
  2. Non-compliant spending can result in excessive, unpredictable, and unbudgeted expenses. This could prevent your organization from accessing savings with pre-negotiated rates or lead to potential financial penalties or even fraud.


Ensure Compliance with Controls

Reduce errors, duplications, and omissions with these best practices:

  1. Establish checks and balances that make it easy for employees to comply with spend policies.
  2. Equip employees with policy compliance training so that they are familiar with their spending tools.
  3. Drive better spending behavior and increase visibility by implementing front-end controls.


Mitigate Rubber Stamping for Good

Ensure your organization is keeping up proper expense and invoice report approvals with these best practices:

1. Capture digital receipts with smart phones: Increase the accuracy of data entry and eliminate the need to scan or attach paper receipts to an expense report through smart phone receipt capture. Ensure receipts are accurate through point-to-point GPS tracking while eliminating potential mileage padding.

2. Simplify the submission workflow and approval process: Lay out an efficient expense workflow process to decrease frustration and increase consistent policy enforcement.

3. Conduct audits to check for policy adherence: Flagging non-compliance through manual or AI-aided audits will help drive more compliant spend behavior.  It will also identify areas where additional training is required by individuals, departments, or the overall organization.


What’s the Result?

Automated controls prevent travel, expense, and invoice errors that are often created by rubber stamping. Additional benefits include increased visibility into spend categories which can aid in vendor negotiation and deeper analysis. And when all the “rubber stamping” ducks align, (see what we did there!) you may even increase your performance margins by reducing wasteful spending. 

Empower your finance leaders to avoid these kinds of errors with Intelligent Spend Management.


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