< PrevNext > Machine Learning Will Go Mainstream in Expense Management By JoAnn DeLuna / January 27, 2017 / Contact Reporter Share Few expense management firms employed machine learning before 2016, but booking tools like KDS using that type of artificial intelligence for predictive booking have made it popular in corporate managed travel. And last year, machine learning expanded within the expense management side of the business.In September, Expensify combined several AI capabilities—including online customer support, its real-time pricing feature Price-to-Beat, and a setup wizard—into a virtual assistant named Concierge. This followed Expensify's launch of Realtime Expense Reports in August 2015 and the decision in January 2016 to make it the default setting. The tool automatically submits expenses for users after they've scanned a receipt, and it can flag duplicate expenses and automatically approve and reimburse those expenses that are ready for submission.In October, Deem acquired hotel technology provider Olset, which aims to increase hotel attachment rates for travel management companies. It collects data points from hotel websites, user reviews and other sources and uses artificial intelligence to match hotel searches to each traveler's preferences. Deem president and COO John Rizzo said the technology also could also be used for expenses: The system could flag expenses and amounts that are out-of-the-ordinary for a particular traveler or for Deem's entire traveler pool. It also could learn to contextualize what spend is considered acceptable in different cities and countries and allow a single expense, rather than an entire report, to be withheld for reimbursement.And in December, Coupa acquired U.K. data management and analytics tool Spend360 to obtain its machine learning capabilities. With Spend360, Coupa can compile and analyze spend outside its own platform using machine learning rather than rules-based programs or actual people, a true differentiator in the expense management market. For years, people have promoted the value of Big Data, but as companies collect copious amounts, the question has become: What do I do with it? AI holds the key to analyzing not only your own data but also to benchmarking against the industry.