The scandals in government are still a significant source of worry for many people. The fact that even our Parliament allowed for millions of dollars in expense fraud to occur, also makes many business owners think about the security of their own budgets. Interestingly, the report of the Auditor General also gives company owner some insight in remedying the problem.
How Budgets Are Drained
Internal fraud in corporations can happen from a number of different places, but the most common area is in travel based expenses. A combination of psychological factors, no direct monitoring, and the ability to falsify receipts all contribute to this trend. This is also a significant area where online expense reporting can make a positive impact.
Along with the above factors, fraudulent travel expenses can also have a significant delay time between submission and reimbursement approval, and this can also cause concerns. Points such as:
- Backlogged paperwork
- Lost receipts
- Lack of verification
- Miscommunications in approval
These are all factors which can also make it easy for travel expense fraud to happen.
Looking At Solutions
One big point that the Auditor General has made is the need for better monitoring when it comes to expenses. Online expense reporting provides companies with this assurance in a number of ways.
- Real time interactions
- Ability to approve or deny on the spot
- Automated receipt capture
- Integration to company accounts
- Long distance access to expense information
- Flagging questionable charges or spending trends
In this manner, online expense reporting attends to many of the aspects that contribute to losses, and can also give CFOs greater control over the budget and the accounting.
This control does seem to be what has been lacking in the parliamentary cases, although high expenditures that were written off as business also contributed. However, with online expense reporting, the real time aspects and flagged reports can also become a solution to these issues.
It should be mentioned that not all questionable spending has a malicious intent. Often, employees may not be versed on protocols for travel expenses, and this can also create a problem, although one that can be corrected. Online expense reporting with integration and real time verification can also be a means of upholding the budget controls within the company, and teaching out the proper guidelines for spending.
This also gives corporations the ability to retain valuable employees who may have simply been below the learning curve, versus making the assumption that internal sabotage was the true intent. As a result, online expense reporting can also play a part in reducing employee turnover, so that businesses can stay focused on their growth without a concern about unseen budget drains.