Your business involves a lot of different things, and it’s always important that you be able to manage every aspect of it as best you can. But from time to time, some things may slip through the cracks.
One area that you may want to take a closer look at is in the way you review your employee expense report information. While most of your team is honest, there are times when fraud may occur – and due to the complex nature of expense reporting it can be tricky to spot it.
This is especially true if you offer expense reimbursement. Employees who are given money back from you for their expenses could try to turn in expenses that they didn’t actually incur, or that they incurred outside of work related duties. Again, it’s not always easy to spot these instances of fraud on an expense report, but there are a few things you can do that may help make it easier.
- Look at dates and try to determine whether or not the expenses happened on dates that the employee was off duty. This is especially an issue if a business trip lasts through weekends.
- Review the expenses claimed on previous trips that are similar. Prices will fluctuate, but huge increases could be a red flag.
- Be sure receipts are all turned in and accurately match what is on the expense report.
There are a few different ways you can go about stopping or reducing the amount of fraud that could exist in your employee travel expenses. These include:
- Set Up A Clear Policy – One of the biggest issues is when you don’t have a formal policy set up. When you do, and when guidelines are clearly defined, it can reduce fraud immediately. This is because sometimes, fraud isn’t malicious – it’s a simple misunderstanding.
- Invest In Good Software – This is probably the most important step you can take. Good software will help you tremendously since it can reduce errors, automate approval tasks, and make it very easy for you to review expense information and determine what is allowed and what isn’t. If you don’t already have good software, you should consider investing in it immediately.
There’s no question that your employees are likely honest, trustworthy individuals. But it’s still worth taking steps to protect your company from fraud – whether accidental or intentional. Keep the points above in mind when looking at an employee’s expense report, and you should be able to start working towards more accurate financial data each year.