Org Threshold Multiplier
The Org Threshold Multiplier provides a quick way to set up model configurations and thresholds for multiple new organizations at scale. This new feature will allow for the duplication of the configuration of an existing organization and applying a multiplier to adjust the thresholds accordingly. The most common use case for using the Org Threshold Multiplier is to enable a quicker configuration set up for customers who are expanding globally.
Note: this feature can only be used by the SuperAdmin and Partner Admin – to use the Org Threshold Multiplier, reach out to your dedicated customer success manager.
Improvements to Reporting
New AppZen Performance Report
A new report has been added, AppZen Report Metrics, which provides a high-level summary of the expenses that AppZen has audited over a period of time. This report will provide a better understanding of audit trends over time, such as how often are high-risk line items detected and is this number increasing or decreasing over time; or how many lines were marked as false positives and is this number also decreasing or increasing. Some of the data included in the report are the total number of expense reports and lines processed, the number of high-risk lines identified, the number of lines marked as false positives, and the average time it took AppZen to audit the expense reports.
Note: it is recommended to generate this report over a period of a few months to gain a better understanding of the audit performance over time.
The fields provided in this report include the following:
- # of Expense Reports Processed – the total number of expense reports that have been audited by AppZen.
- # of Expense Lines Processed – the total number of expense lines that have been audited by AppZen.
- # of High Risk Lines Identified – the total number of high-risk expense lines that have been flagged by AppZen.
- % of High Risk Lines – the percentage of expense lines flagged as high-risk represented by the total number of high-risk lines as the numerator and the total number of lines audited as the denominator.
- # of Lines Marked as FPOS – the total number of expense lines that have been marked as false-positive by an auditor.
- % of Lines Marked as FPOS – the percentage of expense lines marked as a false-positive represented by the total number of expense lines marked as a false-positive as the numerator and the total number of expense lines marked as high-risk as the denominator.
- Average Audit Time in Minutes (Under 4 Hours) – the average time it takes for AppZen to process and audit an expense report in minutes.
- % of Reports with 4 Hours+ Audit Time – the percentage of expense reports that took longer than 4 hours for AppZen to process and audit represented by the total number of expense reports that took longer than 4 hours to audit as the numerator and the total number of expense reports audited as the denominator.
Guidance When Using the Report
Gain a better understanding of high-risk trends
AppZen Report Metrics provides any easy way to track high-risk trends over time. High-risk lines can trend up and down for a number of different reasons. For example, poor employee behavior as a result of either a disregard for the company’s T&E policy or a lack of understanding of the T&E policy can result in an increase of high-risk expense lines. To help reduce the number of high-risk lines submitted, it may be beneficial for the finance team to host a training session to help educate their employees on their T&E policies. Another reason high-risk expense lines may remain high might be due to an outdated or overly stringent T&E policy. In this case, it may be time to adjust the T&E policy and reconfigure some of the AppZen models to help reduce the total number of high-risk expense lines flagged. In both cases, this report offers an opportunity to understand the impact of particular changes made to potentially reduce the amount of high-risk expense lines.
Note: we recommend you reach out to your Customer Success Manager for expert advice and further help investigating particular trend seen in the report.
Get visibility of false-positive (FPOS) trends
AppZen Report Metrics offers valuable insight around FPOS which can occur for a number of reasons. This type of visibility can shed light on opportunities to provide feedback or adjust auditor behaviors to help improve the accuracy of the audit over time.
What a false-positive (FPOS) is
False-positives are expense lines that have been marked incorrectly as a high-risk by AppZen. Often times this will occur if the receipt image is low quality or for other very practical reasons. For example, let’s say a the T&E policy allows employees to expense alcohol but not tobacco–an expense is submitted with a receipt that has beer by the name of Cigar City IPA. AppZen mistakenly identifying the item as a tobacco product as opposed to an alcohol product because the word cigar is in the name of the product.
What a false-positive (FPOS) is not
FPOS are marked manually by an auditor when reviewing a high-risk expense line. It is important that auditors are marking FPOS appropriately so that it provides helpful feedback for AppZen to improve the accuracy of its audits.
FPOS are not high-risk expense lines that are flagged correctly but an expense that is within the company’s policy. A good example of this is a company who intentionally sets the high-risk threshold for gifts as high-risk because all gifts need to be reviewed by an auditor. When a gift is expensed but is acceptable within the company policy it should not be marked as a FPOS. A FPOS is also not an expense that has been approved as an exception by a manager. A good example of this may be a special occasion where the team went for a happy hour and the manager asked one of the team members to pay for the food and drinks with their card. This expense is also marked correctly but is an exception that should not be marked as a FPOS.
These are just some examples of what a FPOS is not – in some cases the rise in the percentage of FPOS may be due to a misuse of the FPOS feature. Sometimes the rise may be due to the behavior of the employees submitted expense reports such as attaching receipts with poor image quality. Other times the rise of FPOS may be due to a practical mistake made by AI such as recognizing a beer with the word cigar in it as a tobacco product. All of these instances require changes, but regardless if it is system improvements or behavioral improvements, the AppZen Performance Reports provides an overall view of FPOS trends that will help initiate initiates to help reduce the number of FPOS.
Generating the Report
To generate the AppZen Report Metrics, navigate to the Reports tab and select Generate Reports.
Then select AppZen Report Metric.
Then click the blue go button.
This report can be adjusted to view the data over a monthly period. Before generating the report, select the desired timeframe by selecting a start date and end date.
Once the dates are set, click on the blue submit button.
Navigate to the Report Status page to download the generated report.
Field Change for Workbench CSV Download
A field change has been made to the downloadable CSV report within the Workbench to provide more precise information about the amount of time an expense report has been pending an action by an auditor.
The Pending Field has been changed to show the total amount of time in hours as opposed to days to provide a more specific metric and precise understanding of how long the expense report has been pending an action.
Note: the time pending starts from the time when the expense report is audited by AppZen and moved to a needs review status (and in some cases, also moved to the set approval state within the workflow status).
New Model: Non-Conforming Receipt
Prior to the release of the Non-Conforming Receipt model, verifying receipts with AppZen included two models. One that checked the total amount and date on the receipt to catch any discrepancies submitted in the expense report; the other, ensures an itemized receipt has been attached for specific expense types such as hotel or meals.
The Non-Conforming Receipt model will help auditors detect when the attached receipt looks unusual. This includes receipt images that lack clarity and are difficult to read or an attachment that may not even be an image of a receipt at all. In the past, we’ve seen employees who have attached some interesting “receipts” to their expense reports such as sticky notes or an image of an animal. Whether it’s an unclear receipt or a picture of a dog, Non-Conforming receipt will flag attached receipts that look unusual to make sure the right information is submitted to effectively audit every expense report with accuracy.
How It Works
Our AI will review the image attached to the expense report line item and check for things that would seem irregular of an acceptable receipt. The most common reasons for flagging a Non-Conforming Receipt include the following:
Unclear or Blurry Receipt Image
It is difficult to read receipts that have text has worn off, crumpled, or low image quality; low image quality could be a result of a poor camera focus or when an employee pulls up the receipt image on the computer and then takes a photo of the computer screen.
Uncharacteristic Receipt Image
Anything that does not look like a receipt could include but is not limited to images of animals, avatars, post-it/handwritten notes, blank pages, or gas station photos.
Poorly Formatted Receipt Image
It can be difficult to read receipts where the photos have been taken from a distance or pasted on a sheet of paper as the text on the receipt itself can be quite small. This occurs when a majority of a receipt image accounts for the background or white space.
Regardless of the reason (unclear, uncharacteristic, or poorly formatted), we recommend auditors to review non-conforming receipt to verify the attached image is an acceptable receipt for reimbursement.
Risk is Dependant On Confidence
Any receipt image that appears to be a non-conforming receipt will be marked as either medium or high-risk. The risk level will vary depending on the AI’s confidence; if the system has a high level of confidence that the receipt image appears to be uncharacteristic of a typical receipt or is blurry, it will mark the line-item as high-risk. If the system as a medium level of confidence then it will mark the line-item as a medium-risk.
Configuring the Model
The Non-Conforming Receipt model can be turned on and off by navigating to the Audit Configuration page.
Note: Only users with Functional Admin privileges can configure a model. If you do not have a user with Functional Admin privileges must contact their AppZen Customer Support Manager or Implementation Manager to configure the Non-Conforming Receipt model.
Scroll down to the Non-Conforming Receipt model and click on the edit icon.
Then toggle the model on or off.
Flagging non-conforming for only expenses above the threshold
Receipts that are identified as non-conforming will be flagged as medium- or high-risk dependant on the threshold set within the Receipt Verification model. In other words, the Non-Conforming Receipt model is dependant on the same threshold set in Receipt Verification including any threshold set for specific expense types. If you wish to change the threshold, navigate to the Receipt Verification model and adjust the threshold.
Parking ticket exception
When turned on, this model will check all receipt images submitted for each expense type except the parking ticket expense type.
Note: in some cases, other expense types may be added to the exception list if the use case makes sense. For example, some customers may make Mileage expense type as an exception. This is typically needed if images or screenshots of maps are common and acceptable for Mileage expenses. Contact your Customer Support Manager and create a ticket to enable this exception.