Why T&E Matters: Risk And Compliance

Andy Hirst

Part 2 of the 5-part “T&E in the Cloud” series

If you’re in financial services (or any other regulated industry, for that matter), compliance comes with the territory. The flow of new regulations is not slowing down, and maintaining compliance can be a daily struggle.

Controlling costs and being compliant is, however, critical to the daily running of your organization. That means financial transparency, data integrity, and internal auditing.

It also means hours of crossing T’s, dotting I’s, and, according to Deloitte, facing “plenty of uncertainty around the impact of things like Open Banking and boosting cyber resilience.”

And, as you know, the downside for getting it wrong can be hefty fines and remedial actions demanded by regulators – hence the low tolerance for unethical behavior and actions causing reputational risk.

Always more to watch out for

And the regulatory landscape for managing expenses and spending is constantly shifting. You either need a team of people whose job it is to stay on top of the rules and restrictions, or you find a cloud-based solution that gives you full visibility into travel and expense (T&E) budgets and spending and, as a result, financial control.

Things your solutions should do:

  • Capture and connect all your travel and expense spend whether it’s booked through your booking tool, with your travel management company, directly with suppliers, or through virtually any other source.
  • Make compliance easier for everybody by giving employees simple, mobile tools that use automated controls to keep spending within policy.
  • Employ workflows that automatically adapt to changing policies, giving you real-time feedback and reports on out-of-policy spend without additional headcount.
  • Increase visibility into what spending is happening where, which makes it easier to reduce fraud.
  • Get a clear view of where employees are if there’s an emergency.

Regulations of many shapes and sizes

Staying compliant with your industry’s regulations is also an important factor. With complex approval and review processes, you need to be able to set spending thresholds that put you in control over who spends what where. And you need to establish policy protocols to ensure that information about attendees and attendee-type individuals that your organization has hosted is captured in compliance with requirements of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

But it’s bigger than that. It’s about your people and, more specifically, your duty to protect them wherever business takes them. You need to be able to capture all of their itinerary data and triangulate it with global risk information and other specialized resources. This will enable you to locate, communicate with, and, if necessary, extricate every traveler in any emergency, no matter where or how they booked their trip.

Cost savings through compliance

The mere mention of VAT has most financial services providers rightly running for cover. It’s a tax you simply have to pay, but you also have the chance to reclaim some of it – which is a complete headache. And because it’s only a partial exemption, it can be viewed as small potatoes.

But VAT also a provides a perfect example of the importance of clearly seeing your spend: If your annual T&E spend is $5 million, and you can reclaim VAT on just 20% of that – that’s $200,000 you could put back in your budget.

This, of course, requires data. And data, of course, isn’t always easy to acquire. So how do you get it? By making it simple for employees to provide it.

Give them easy, mobile tools, and employees can simply snap a photo of a receipt and hit “send.” The expense gets read, automatically matched to the transaction, and uploaded to an expense report. With these types of tools, expense reports virtually write themselves, employees have more time focus on work, and you turn data into money.

More control, less risk

The more visibility you have into T&E, the more control you have over everything. And when you have both, you have a lot less risk to worry about. You can manage every detail of your spend, automate your processes, protect your travelers, and get real-time data accuracy and insights – plus enterprise-class security solutions that protect against cyber attacks.

To learn more, reach out to T&E experts.

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Andy Hirst

About Andy Hirst

Andy Hirst is vice president of Banking Solutions, SAP Banking Industry Business Unit, at SAP. He is responsible for driving the success of the SAP go-to-market strategy in Line of Business Cloud Applications and Analytics in Financial Services. Previously, Andy was responsible for Capital Markets solutions for banking. Andy is an expert in Big Data and analytics use cases in financial services and has been involved in many digital banking initiatives for banks.