Get a Grip on Your T&E and P-Card Programs With Analytics

April 25, 2017

If your company has a purchasing card (P-Card) program or travel and entertainment (T&E) expenses, you know that controlling costs and reducing abuse is always a business objective. Staying on top of expenses related to T&E and being racked up through a P-Card program is hard—especially if you’re dependent upon spreadsheets, emails and hard-copy receipts.

Using P-Cards combined with an expense management system can make this task easier, there are still challenges and risks that need to be addressed. These systems, such as Concur, are useful because they provide spend reports, reduce document storage costs and decrease the approval and reimbursement cycle. However, they are simply not designed to provide the analytics needed detect misuse, abuse and fraud, including these seven fraud schemes for T&E expenses:

  1. Personal expenses represented as business expenses
  2. Modifying receipts
  3. Reimbursement for cancelled trips and events
  4. Purchasing items and then getting a refund without reimbursing the company
  5. Overstating mileage claims
  6. Claiming non-acceptable items like electronics and jewelry
  7. Multiple reimbursements for same expense either by multiple employees colluding with one another or through different proofs of payment


One of the best ways to detect these schemes and manage your organization’s risk exposure is to adopt a continuous controls monitoring solution that utilizes advanced analytics such as behavioral and prescriptive analytics. An automated solution should perform these five fraud-busting techniques:

  1. Review 100% of transactions rather than random samples
  2. Detect and investigate out-of-policy or suspicious transactions prior to reimbursement
  3. Identify elevated liability within the P-Card program
  4. Use workflows and case management to investigate suspicious activities instead of ad-hoc emails and phone conversations
  5. Leverage data analytics to get a clearer picture of risks within the T&E program

Alessa includes a wide range of advanced analytics to perform these tasks, and also includes analytics specifically for T&E and P-Card programs; here is just a sampling:


T&E AnalyticsP-Card Analytics
Airfare purchases that don’t comply with policies (seat class, airline, etc.)Elevated liability – card usage vs. credit limit
Refund of ticket issued to employee but balance not refunded to companyTransactions made by terminated/on leave/retired employees
Claims for personal car usage and rental car usage for same periodDuplicate transactions (same merchant, same amount, same day)
Lodging claims for days when employees were on vacationTransactions outside of business hours, during holidays or on vacation
Unusually large T&E claims compared to employees in similar roleManagers approving their own transactions or outside of their cost center
Search for keywords in expense submissions to identify invalid claimsKeyword search of non-compliant purchases such as jewelry, tobacco


To learn more about how analytics can be used to mitigate emerging risks in procurement processes—or to find out more about other analytics useful for T&E and P-Card monitoring we offer, including for policy compliance and spend profiling—Read “How to avoid misuse and fraud in your T&E and P-Card programs’ now.



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