Some people may think of an expense report as something that serves only one purpose; to be filed for reimbursement, then stored away, never to be looked at again. The truth is, beyond just making sure that employees are properly compensated for their spending on working trips, expense reports have another purpose. They are one more factor that you can look at to determine the health of your company’s spending, as well as provide another tool for detecting employee fraud.
Data Always Matters
When it comes time to make decisions about the direction your company will spend money, every piece of information you can get your hands on will help. If that information is up to date, and accurate, this gives you much more solid ground on which to make those choices. This is especially important when it comes to business trips. Airfare alone can already be a significant investment, so the return on investment you get from these trips needs to be worth it.
The data you get from software like ExpensePoint can be very useful, especially when paired with analytical tools. You can look at the average expenditures, compare them with any tangible, financial returns. However, the metrics you get can also help you look at where spending inefficiencies are occurring and, in worse case scenarios, help you sniff you fraud or misreported expenses.
For example if you are doing an annual analysis of the travel spending of different employees, using analytical tools and averaging the data that is stored on ExpensePoint makes it much easier to spot bad trends. If one employee is regularly highlighting large, out-of-pocket expenses that are consistently just under the threshold of unacceptability, and is still comparatively large compared to what other employees are reporting, this is a red flag to you that you may be the victim of small misreporting or fraud.
It’s easy to miss this on an individual report, especially if the amounts are small. But taken in the context of a larger group of long term data—which good expense report software stores—you can more easily see these smaller exploits that are better hidden.