Depending on the type of business you run, you may have a need to send employees abroad for work purposes. Sometimes, a telephone or video conference call isn’t sufficient to work out the details on a deal, sometimes, you have a truly gifted employee with a flair for negotiation or management, but only when dealing personally with other people. Other times, there’s work that needs to be personally supervised and done for a sustained period of time, and only sending in the right, qualified person will get the job done at the quality that’s required.
In these and many other instances, you’ll need to send people to other cities, regions, or even entirely different parts of the world. When this happens, you’re exercising an enormous amount of trust in the person you’re sending. You are trusting them to do the work you’ve assigned, and you are trusting them to conduct themselves professionally and ethically, both on the job, and when it comes to the money they are spending while they are there.
Fortunately, the majority of the time, your trust is rewarded. Most employees, when given more responsibilities and privileges, justify the trust they’ve been given. Unfortunately, this isn’t 100% true across the board, and there are still rare instances where the trust is abused.
The Cat’s Away And The Mice Will Play
For some, being away from the office and constant interaction and supervision of management can be an emboldening experience. The chances, risks and exploitation of systems that they would be too risky to perform while at their workplace suddenly seem more viable and easy to get away with in a distant location.
To a certain extent, this assumption is correct. Without the hierarchy of traditional management and other staff there to supervise and ensure everyone is following the rules, the only thing keeping a person from breaking the rules is their own conscience. And sadly, that’s not enough for a minority of people that are sent on working trips.
Take The Right Precautions
Because it is up to traveling employees to police themselves and file their own expense reports, this is where much of the potential for abuse can arise. In the past, this was much easier for unscrupulous employees to do. Filing an expense report was a much slower, more tedious activity, with many more opportunities for exploitation throughout the processing line.
Today, with expense report software like ExpensePoint, many traditional means of exploiting expense reports for abuse or personal gain are dramatically reduced. Individual expense report items can be examined by financial staff within seconds of being submitted, and excuses for losing or not being able to produce receipts for expenditures become harder to justify. By linking expenditures to a company credit card instead, reimbursement after the fact isn’t even an issue, and expenditures made this way can be automatically logged and reviewed as they happen.
We’ll never be able to completely eliminate certain unethical practices in a small number of employees. But software like ExpensePoint makes it increasingly difficult to succeed at gaming the system.