Business management is always about having the ability to see the larger picture of practical function, even when others are tasked with handling much of the action. While professionalism is based on aspects such as trustworthiness and integrity, this is unfortunately not always the case. Further, differences in personal morals and ethical codes can also influence poor logic in decision making. When these points centre around expense management, it can have a negative impact on both individuals and the company as a whole.
When The Mice Are Away …
Although CFOs are meant to have the final approval over budgeting decisions, workloads and number of employees will lead to situations where the accounting department is primarily processing vouchers, handling payments and reimbursements, and overseeing the ledgers. This can become even more of an overwhelming task in expense management when companies also operate with many employees engaged in business travel.
Unfortunately, fraudulent travel expenses are one of the largest areas within expense management where oversight will happen. This can be a combination of factors, but often includes:
- Large number of receipt verifications
- Post dating of charges
- Falsified receipts
- Reimbursement vouchers for personal travel expenses
However, with larger general workloads, and specifically significant amounts of employee travel, many questionable costs may get overlooked until it is too late.
Overseeing, Not Oversight
Part of the concern that also arises from travel expenses is the fact that once an audit is underway, it can quickly turn into a dispute of perspectives. This can become particularly difficult when questionable expenses have been previously approved, as the concern returns to who is thoroughly overseeing this aspect of budget and expense management.
Further, the longer that fraudulent expenses are allowed and not questioned, the more actual deficit that is accrued by the company. In the event of an audit and examination of the validity of travel expenses, legal costs can also become a major drain on an already abused budget.
Overseeing expense management is greatly facilitated with automated systems, since these can provide:
- Real time transaction alerts
- Flagging for questionable costs
- Immediate alerts for expense approval
- The ability to cut down on paper work and streamline the workflow
Software for expense management can provide the solutions for avoiding an extensive audit and even considerable legal fees. The result is that budgets can be better managed in general, but also that questionable charges can be addressed immediately, before they escalate in to a much larger hassle.