What the experts say
AI is watching your expenses
Expense report cheats, beware—artificial intelligence may be watching, said Olivia Carville in Bloomberg.com. More companies are using “algorithmic auditors” to catch workers’ expense fraud. The technology “can in a matter of seconds sniff out fraudulent claims and forged receipts that are often undetectable to human auditors.” Some fraud caught by AI: a small fortune spent at a strip club disguised as a business dinner, a dog kennel bill submitted as a hotel expense, and $3,000 worth of Starbucks gift cards. AppZen, an AI auditing company, now counts Amazon, Salesforce, and Comcast among its clients. It claims to have saved the businesses more than $40 million. There’s a big upside for people who don’t cheat: The AI systems can “reimburse legitimate employee expenses on the same day” they are filed.
Cyber Monday deals and doubts
Cyber Monday used to be the “online counterpoint” to Black Friday shopping, said Kristin McGrath in USNews.com. Those lines have sort of “blurred,” as more consumers do their shopping online. First tip: The Cyber Monday deals now start as early as the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Some deals are better than others. Gaming consoles are a good bet—they’ll likely be $100 cheaper. Buying clothes is good, too. Lots of retailers will take upwards of 50 percent off your whole purchase. However, you can hold off on buying toys—they’re cheaper in mid-December. There are price cuts on furniture and appliances, but those often go on sale, so don’t bother if you need to prioritize.
Get rewarded for that Uber ride
Uber launched a new loyalty system this week that offers car upgrades, price protection, and other perks, said Josh Constine in TechCrunch.com. Called Uber Rewards, the program “ties all of the company’s transportation and food delivery options together.” You get a point for every dollar spent on Uber Eats or UberPool, two points for most car rides, and three points for rides on the premium Uber Black service. Gold status at 500 points gives you flexible cancellations. Platinum status at 2,500 points offers protection against surge pricing and priority pickups from the airport. At 7,500 points you get a dedicated customer-service line plus three free Uber Eats deliveries every six months. Lyft is planning to launch its own rewards system in December.