Top 6 Business Challenges You Didn’t Know AI Could Help With

Mar 26, 2021 | Corporate Member News

It’s no question – employees crave to solve a variety of new and complex business problems. And yet, here we are, stuck managing the monotonous, routine tasks that come with our jobs. This is even more prevalent today in the age of big data and the rapid advancement of technology. But AI is here to make a difference. So, instead of fearing automation, many employees should look forward to jobs that challenge and interest them, providing opportunities to add more value instead of performing mundane, repetitive tasks.

Running better with artificial intelligence
Even in 2021, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is still a hot topic that industries are buzzing about. And why shouldn’t it be? It’s already helping us in ways like:

  • Analyzing complex tasks
  • Looking at data in real-time
  • Increasing efficiency and accuracy
  • Discovering patterns and human behaviors
  • Adapting through algorithms

These powerful capabilities of AI enable us to think about solving business challenges differently. AI is helping tackle business areas like financial management, employee performance, regulation and compliance, and customer service. And with SAP Concur solutions, we are striving to transform business expense management.

Transforming business expense management with AI
Mastering expense management is essential to running a business efficiently. Stretching your cash flow and making the most out of your budget matters – especially during times of economic uncertainty – and with AI to help, it’s a whole lot easier. Here is the six components AI’s helping solve in the back-office:

1. Increase expense report reliability
No one dreams of spending their workdays manually entering data for receipts, processing invoices, researching expenses, or auditing transactions. It’s for this reason that AI and machine learning (ML) hold such promise for improving job satisfaction, reducing errors, and costs for corporations. And when you find out that only 20% of expenses go through proper auditing – you can see just where AI can help. Auditing employee expenses is vital to remaining in control of costs and mitigating risks, that’s why AI gets put to work to:

  • Automatically verify and review expense reports
  • Flag out-of-policy expense reports and errors before submission
  • Significantly reduce auditing time (90%)
  • Spot patterns and behaviors of malicious intent

2. Reduce the risk of fraud
Mitigating fraud is also another major problem when it comes to managing business expense. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (AFCE) reports the average loss of fraud each year equals 5% of an organization’s revenue with an average loss per case amounting to $1.5M.

Organizations need a solution that limits fraud by closely analyzing employee receipts for fraudulent behavior and expense violations. With the help of AI, you can automatically spot these top five expense violations:

  • Disallowed and personal spend
  • Unverifiable receipts
  • Personal credit card usage
  • Disallowed merchants
  • Travel add-ons

AI is going to catch on as people realize AI apps are able to review and make those decisions around inappropriate, misuse, or fraudulent expenses far better than what those managers can do. ~ AppZen CEO, Anant Kale

3. Gain control of regulatory compliance
Regularly analyzing expense reports provides organizations a higher level of transparency and visibility into what, where, and how its employees are spending. And it’s important to catch reporting errors before the reimbursement phase or you could risk facing government fines.

An AI-powered solution can analyze external resources like the internet and social media to quickly verify compliance laws within government regulations and company policies.

4. Policy changes? No problem.
Companies also need the ability to stay updated with evolving company policies. An article from BTN reports, “A quarter of travelers commit offenses but aren’t considered high risk; their violations may be honest mistakes or owe to unfamiliarity with their companies’ travel policies.” The article goes on to explain that, “Data amassed from AI reviews of expense reports could reveal that certain violations actually constitute rational behavior; the company could then consider updating those parts of its travel policy, such as allowing ride-hailing suppliers like Uber and Lyft.”

No matter the case, AI can help recognize mistakes and enable your organization the chance to review workflows and processes later for possible updates.

5. Boost your employee experience
Manually reviewing expense reports isn’t only slow but is also prone to human error and exhaustion. Put blatantly – essentially, the work is boring, and employees would rather not do it. AI can assist by automating redundant tasks, boosting employee productivity and satisfaction.

“AI is going to catch on as people realize AI apps are able to review and make those decisions around inappropriate, misuse or fraudulent expenses far better than what those managers can do,” states AppZen CEO, Anant Kale in an article from BTN.

Plus, with AI around to help, employees can stay focused on the tasks and conversations that matter, rather than entering numbers into the system.

6. Recover tax and reclaim more cash
As audit exposure and digital demands increase, businesses are expected to comply with global tax regulations, or lose their share of the pie. But reclaiming Value Added Tax (VAT) and other forms of tax – Goods and Services Tax (GST), Indirect Tax, and Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) – is complex and difficult to manage. In fact, 42% of employee spend submitted for VAT/GST reimbursement does not meet reclaim requirements due to incorrect data and missing information. It’s for this reason the global market potential for VAT reclaim is almost $75 billion.

Fortunately, AI technology is designed with sophisticated algorithms and the latest comprehensive tax knowledge to capture, analyze, and enrich the data within expense transactions. By digitizing the compliance process, organizations can worry less about gathering all the right details and instead focus on maximizing recovery.

Reduce company spend with SAP Concur solutions
SAP Concur solutions helps simplify the business expense management process so you can shift from looking back at what was spent to controlling what is being spent. By integrating travel, expense, and invoice management into a single, connected process, you’ll close the data and workflow gaps that let costs and compliance slip out of control. And with intelligent technology like AI, you can bring speed, consistency, and clarity to spending all while improving compliance for the business.

For more information on AI-powered solutions, visit Concur Detect to automatically analyze expense reports and speed up the audit process, and Concur TaxAssurance by VATBox to maximize VAT and tax recovery.


By Kyla Kent

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