If you’re one of the many companies that rely on traveling employees to help your business grow and thrive, you already know that you need to keep a close eye on expenses. The way that you handle travel expense management will have a direct impact on your bottom line. And while you certainly need to be willing to pay for your employees’ expenses when they’re on the road, its’ important that you don’t let fraud become a common problem within your business.
Travel expense fraud – or even just honest mistakes that happen regularly due to repeated errors – can cost your company big. A recent study found that over 13 million dollars in fraud and errors occurred just over the last quarter of 2014. The costs can add up quickly, so it’s important that you take the time to combat fraud within your business. Here are a few options.
Invest in Good Software
Simply put, travel expense fraud is much more difficult to commit when quality software is used to manage expenses. The automated nature of programs helps keep fraudulent claims low, reduces errors and mistakes that are made honestly, and also provides you with a wide range of data reports that you can use to identify potential cases of fraud. Of course, you have to know how to spot fraud when you’re looking through that data, which brings us to the next point.
Know The Signs Of Fraud
There are several red flags that can clue you in to potential fraud. Acquire the data from your software program and then use it to identify whether or not any of the following things are present.
- Higher Expenses – Costs will rise over time, and certain trips may cost more than others. But if you notice that there is a sudden and drastic increase in one employees’ expense reports – either for a single trip or for several – you might need to take a closer look.
- Bigger Spender – Your software should also let you look at the expenses of your entire department as well as individuals. If you spot someone who is spending far more than anyone else on your team, that could be a big red flag.
- Non-Work Day Claims – Business trips can easily last throughout the weekends, and if your team isn’t working on those days they can’t claim their expenses. Pay attention to the dates of claims to make sure you’re not getting taken advantage of.
If you pay careful attention to your travel expense reports, you should be able to get a good idea as to whether or not fraud is an issue. Travel expense fraud can cost you big, so fighting it should be a top priority.