To learn about a bank's "spending culture," you don't need expert auditors. You can just talk to the people who sell to it and examine what is bought from them.

Sometimes you can learn of poor practices by accident. I was talking to an Amtrak agent who told me about the individual who regularly bought a first-class Metroliner ticket from Baltimore to Washington when for a quarter of the cost he could have taken a regular coach train that takes six minutes longer.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.