What audit rule have you written that you have found most helpful or you wish you would have had at implementation?
This question comes from our LinkedIn group.
One of the top audit rules is how you prevent (or don't prevent) submission of an expense report based on violations. While a “hard stop” submission process will not allow the user to submit an expense report that is out of policy or not complete, a “soft stop” approach can be seen as more user-friendly. For example, you can block (hard stop) an expense report from not being submitted if it includes an un-itemized hotel bill. However, a “soft stop” would allow a user to submit an expense report even if it didn’t include receipts for expenses under $25, and instead might alert the manager or target them for audit.
We have 5 coding / cost tracking fields that are required at the Expense level for every expense that is submitted. At the Allocation level, these 5 are optional, as less than 5% of all expenses submitted are allocated. However, if someone allocates an expense, they could submit it without all 5 cost tracking fields filled out. This creates accounting issues, as allocations override expense level details.
To fix this, we created an Audit Rule to block submission of the expense if a) it's allocated and b) any of the allocation cost tracking fields are blank. With the new UI, it looks like allocation fields are auto-populated (maybe they could have been before, but we just had a setting turned off - I don't know), so this may not be a big issue, but it's nice to have the failsafe if someone is trying to do that. Usually they simply forget, they're not trying to be malicious or anything.
Another we've implemented is if a user tries to submit a report with only cash expenses on it and the report total is zero, it blocks submission. We've had cases where a user will have no credit card activity for a month, but they still submit a report with just their bank statement attached, showing they had no activity. Per our policy, that is not required, and just takes up an extra slot in our quota, so we put this rule in place.
We do our best with training and support, but we don't live in a perfect world, do we?
We track R&D expenses for tax purposes. Each R&D project has a code. We’ve added an expense type called “Project Expense.” If using this expense type, allocation is required. The allocation field is free text so the user can enter the project code. Each month, our controller receives a report of all expenses charged to that expense type, along with the code associated with it.