Frequently Asked Questions

My TMC says they audit for lowest fares, isn’t that enough?

As you can imagine, we do not think that is enough. Your TMC has no reason to share with you why they messed up or even finding a lower airfare. They are a transaction based operation that is focused on making the most transactions they can with the fewest number of people. Our process will validate that they are doing a good job or need to make changes to get better. Of course, if you would rather that fox watch over your hen house, that is your prerogative.

How is an audit priced?

We can price your audit various ways, but it is usually done on a per reservation basis, or per contract basis, or per property basis or even per website! But, not to worry – let us know what you need and what problem you are trying to solve and we will do the pricing in a manner that meets your requirements.

How much more extra time does it take the agency to document a travel reservation?

We have done extensive analysis that would suggest it does not take as long as frequently claimed. Our estimated of additional keystrokes adds up to less than 10 seconds per reservation. This would support our claim that an audit is not an onerous addition to the work process – but in fact is a good business practice that ensures you are getting what you have contracted to receive.

How long is a standard airfare audit?

The length of the audit will be determined by the corporate customer; however we always recommend that you do an audit for as long as you can. The reasoning behind this is the behavior of your TMC may change for a one month audit, and bad habits will return for those months when you are not auditing.

What does your company audit?

We currently audit airfares, hotels, car, expense reports, overnight delivery expenses, temporary help, office supplies and other typical business expenses. We are not a financial statement auditing company but rather a specialized firm dedicated to making sure businesses all over the world are not over charged for contracted items.

Why would you need a Topaz Audit?

A Topaz audit and performance measurement tool is part of a complete quality business plan that will measure performance so you are sure you are obtaining the services you contracted for, and will highlight any deficiencies that may be in your procurement program.

What countries do you audit in?

We audit in over 70 countries worldwide. In most of these countries our audits are performed virtually, since information can be sharing electronically. If you have a question about a specific country, please let us know.

Does the travel agency need to know about any audit plans?

No. We can do both an open audit where the TMC knows and a blind audit when the TMC does not know. In a blind audit records will be placed on queues as if we are auditing every month, but we will not start to audit until the corporation tells Topaz to look at them. We can explain this in more detail when you call us!

Can you audit historically?

No. The issue with going back in time to look at reservations to determine if the lowest fare was obtained is that availability cannot be reviewed historically. Therefore, the only way to really look at a travel reservation to determine if the flight was lowest is by using a real time Topaz audit.

If my agency is located in another country do you audit in the same country?

All of our audits are currently conducted out of the United States. We can emulate into the most countries and conduct the audit virtually from the US.

Is the airfare audit a real time audit?

It is as close to real time as anyone in the corporate travel industry can accomplish. We contract that we will audit within two hours of most reservations. During the past ten years we have audited records in less than one hour following receipt of the reservation.

What is the standard window for an airfare audit?

There is no standard window. The window of travel is defined as the how many hours before or after requested arrival or departure time will your TMC or online tool look for a lowest flight. For example, if you had a two hour window and wanted to leave at 8:00a, your TMC and our auditors would look at all flights between 6:00a and 10:00a (two hours before and after your requested 8:00a departure)

What is the standard add flight time for an airfare audit?

Like the standard window, there is no standard add flight time. This is simply the parameter set by the corporation that does not allow the TMC or Topaz to add any more than x number of hours to the flight time in the original record. For example if we found a flight that was in the parameters of the window, but added three hours to the total flight time, and we had a limit of only one hour added flight time, we could not offer it as being a lower alternative.

How much experience do Topaz auditors have?

All of our auditors have multiple years of business travel agency experience before ever joining Topaz. Each of our auditors has over twenty years of experience and has become experts at finding you the lowest fares in the marketplace.

Do you do the same functions as internal audit?

Sometimes, but are always willing and able to work alongside your internal audit department. We do not feel we are in competition with them because we are a complementary service that helps them do their job better. We might be able to meet a time sensitive project, or we may have specific expertise that can assist them so they do their job better!

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