In a perfect world, when you, in good faith, hire people to work at your company and you send them off to different cities—or even different countries—they conduct themselves responsibly. They do the work they are sent there to do, only make the expenditures that are required to get the job done, and dutifully report those expenses in a timely and honest manner.
Fortunately, most of the time, this is exactly what happens. The majority of employees understand the trust that you’ve extended to them. They also realize the expenditures they make ultimately affect the health of the company and their own career prospects. Sometimes, however, a minority of workers get tempted by the idea of “spending company money,” and they abuse the trust they’ve been given. Here are four signs any company should keep an eye out for that this is happening to you.
Certain Employees Report More
This is an easy “red flag” to keep track of for any company with diligence and useful tools like automated expense report software at their disposal. If you have a group of employees sent out to travel and do similar types of work, if one or more employees is consistently spending more on these trips than others, that’s a problem. Employees with similar responsibilities and duties should fall into a certain consistent range with their spending. Anyone that is regularly higher than average should be investigated.
High Usage Of The Company Credit Card
One quick way to simplify company expenses is to issue a company credit card to employees. This is great because it can dramatically reduce the amount of reimbursement you need to give to an employee if they use the card for company expenses instead.
It’s when an employee is using the card for more than just your company’s expenses that you need to be careful. By looking over the expense reports for credit card usage, your staff can easily identify when necessary expenses have been paid, and when an employee is using the company credit for personal gain.
Some employees may try to “game the system” by reporting the same expense twice. They’ll just do it on different trips. Or, they may make a purchase on the company credit card, but then take that receipt and try to use it to file for a cash purchase that requires reimbursement.
This type of expense report exploit requires diligence on the part of staff, since it can be very easy to look at all the purchases and see them as legitimated without closer inspection. Automated software can be of great help in accurately tracking this kind of activity.
Another tactic that some employees use is to look at various expenses, and slightly increase them here and there. A $10 meal is reported as $15, while that cab ride to the client goes from $20 to $30. These are small increases, but if they are spread around sufficiently, they can add up to a significant total in a false expense report.
The proper implementation and use of expense report software can greatly reduce the chance of this kind of abuse taking place in your company.