Each year, dishonest employees cost companies millions of dollars. Whether it’s outright theft, false timesheets, or something else entirely, dishonesty can cut into your profit margin in a serious way. One area that can add up quickly is that of travel expense fraud, and knowing how to spot it is the first step towards making sure that you stop it outright. It’s not always obvious, and as a result you’ll need to remember a few things.
To start with, be sure that you invest in a good travel expense program to help you manage expenses. This way you can generate data reports that let you get a clear picture of your company’s spending, and even let you break it down into reports on individuals, specific trips, or by department. You’ll also be able to automate much of the process and take a look at expenses when they occur instead of having to review large amounts of receipts at once.
With that in mind, here are some of the key signs that an employee or employees might be committing travel expense fraud.
- One employee has expenses that are much higher than others. Look at data reports and make sure that spending is fairly consistent among your team. Sure, one person may have higher expenses on a certain trip. But if one person consistently turns in double the amount of expenses that others do and they do so on every single business trip, it could be a red flag.
- Expenses suddenly increase by a large margin from year to year. When your employees take regular trips, you can compare their expenses on an annual basis. As prices increase annually, it’s easy to assume that higher expenses are due to price increases. But incredibly large increases could be a sign for concern.
- Another thing to pay attention to is what days expenses take place on. Expenses that are turned in on non-working days are obviously fraudulent, but you might be surprised at how many of these claims fly by thanks to the fact that the person reviewing the reports is overwhelmed and just doesn’t notice it.
- Also be sure that everything matches up. Check expense forms and compare them to the receipts. This way you can identify whether or not there are certain areas that don’t connect properly. If so, it might be an issue.
If you’ll keep these points in mind you should be able to spot travel expense fraud before it costs your company too much. It’s something you need to pay attention to, even if you think it isn’t.