Dear Mr. and Ms. Internal Auditor: Do you know where all the meeting and event contracts are in your organization? Do you realize how many EAs, HR staff, Marketing support staff and leaders who sign contracts that do not include the proper language to protect your company? In fact, do you even know where the contracts are located? Have you checked to make sure that the Certificates of Insurance are in place for the unique events that occur such as boating excursions? Do you know who is collecting the hotel or card reward points for all the spend? And, if these planners are collecting points, do you know what they do with those company-earned points? Do you have your licenses to ASCAP and BMI in place? Do you know if you're paying too much in commissions to meeting planning companies?
Mr. and Ms Internal Auditor, I know that you are already reviewing T&E expenses for fraud, but how many meetings and events include fraud? How many meetings and events are paid for by individuals who are not following the meeting policy?
We welcome your skills, your audit expertise and ask that you review the meeting and event a) process, b) sourcing, c) RFPs and contracts, d) Certificates of Insurance, e) licenses, f) compliance, g) points and ethical behavior, and h) payment methods. It is OK if this is the first you've heard of this … it is complex and many meeting planners don't want your intrusion. Oh, and by the way, please don't think that small meetings, such as $5K-$10K, are exempt. Not only are those contracts hidden and voluminous, but they also have just as many risks as their bigger brothers.
So, where do you go for help? I recommend reaching out to someone who knows about Strategic Meetings Management Programs. Managing meetings across the enterprise has only been a discipline for the last 7-10 years. If you want guidance, please contact me. For whitepapers on the subject of Strategic Meetings Management Programs, please go to www.nbta.org.
Debi Scholar, CMM, CMP, CTE, CTT Thank you for visiting the T&E Plus Blog on expense management, travel management, business meetings, events, incentives, strategic meetings management, entertainment, virtual meetings, tickets, hotels, airlines, ground transportation, T&E policy, plus more... Follow me on Twitter ...http://www.twitter.com/debischolar and on LinkedIN at http://www.linkedin.com/in/dscholar