Fighting corporate fraud, including fraudulent expenses, is an ongoing battle for many managers. It can be difficult to detect when employees fudge the numbers, and keeping track, looking for fraudulent expense claims and investigating possible cases of fraud are all time-consuming tasks. There is, however, no doubt that the problem is widespread and at all levels of the corporate ladder.
Who Are The Fraudsters?
In a recent study conducted by ACFE to look at occupational fraud, it was found that although 45.3% of perpetrators were classified as employees, 31.1% were managers and a whopping 19.9% were upper management and owners. For a manager charged with preventing and identifying fraudulent expense claims, this poses yet another hurdle. In many cases, the fraudsters, who are cheating the company and the bottom line you are supposed to protect, are your professional peers and superiors. In order to challenge a CEO about his expense claims, you obviously want to be completely sure that you have the right evidence.
Prevention Beats Detection For Maximum Efficiency
One way to reduce this problem is to focus on prevention. The more difficult it is for people to get away with charging fraudulent expense claims to the company, the better it is for the manager in charge of combatting corporate fraud. You save time and the expense of investigating fraud, as well as the difficulty of confronting superiors. Prevention can’t guarantee that you will never have to investigate a fraudulent claim, but effective prevention measures can vastly reduce the incidence of fraud.
Clear Policy Is Step One
You and your team have no doubt spent much thought and time establishing policies and procedures for the filing of expense claims. Still, many organisations retain outmoded approaches that have become enshrined as assumptions in their policies, so it is always good to review at regular intervals. But even if your policy and procedures are completely up to date and efficient, it won’t help if employees at all levels of the company are not aware of what they are. Part of a clear policy is making sure that policy is communicated effectively to all concerned.
Good Tools Will Support Good Policy
Current technology affords you a range of choices when it comes to picking the right tools to support your strategy for preventing fraudulent expense claims. From the basics like using credit cards to apps and online tracking that can accommodate both claims and legitimate justification for the claims in one go, you have powerful tools available to reduce the mere possibility of fraud and make your job easier. Simplifying procedures will also be met positively by employees, who are not out to game the system, and improve both compliance and morale. So it is worth it to devote resources to staying on top of the tools available, as the field evolves, and make sure you pick the best tool for your organisation’s needs.