Business leaders know that when it’s time to find or save money, they should go directly where the money is. In most enterprises, expense report processes are among the most complex part of the policy landscape – and they also have some of the best opportunities to save money.
Financial control is critical for good fiscal health. It also puts businesses in a position to minimise the amount that they have to spend on compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley and other regulatory schemes. Sometimes, however, it seems as if it’s easier said than done.
Ask any internal auditor, and he or she will be able to tell you at least one story of a Chief Financial Officer who reached the heights of the executive ranks by “finding” millions that had been mislaid. The first step in that trail is most typically a company expense report.
Finding Fraud Depends On Making Processes Easier, Not More Complex
The adoption of SOX in 2002 knocked many companies for a loop when it became obvious that they would have to invest millions – often between $2 million and $5 million in U.S. dollars each year – to maintain compliance.
That has driven a niche market of complicated, “fool proof” compliance schemes.
However, when fraud does strike a company, it is usually hidden in plain view within an expense report. Finding it means tailoring policies so that the “small fry” doesn’t get away – and money that has been misused can be recovered without an exhaustive search.
It’s unfortunate to say, but travel expenses are among the categories of expense where fraud is most likely. The wide variety of different expenses and documents that accrue around travel can make it easy for a self-interested individual to hide fraudulent spending.
Under current policies, many businesses would be lucky to find this behaviour in a year. However, ExpensePoint makes it easy to detect and flag a pattern of behaviour in travel expenses and other expense categories as well.
Don’t Let Travel Expenses Go Down The Drain
Perhaps your expense report documents themselves will never be simple, but that doesn’t mean your policies cannot be fast, fair, and flexible. ExpensePoint “red flags” expenses based upon the rules you develop. Everything collected and correlated by ExpensePoint is available on the long term, so you can always review it or pull it up for auditing purposes.
Most employees are honest, from the doorman to the Board member. However, it’s always a good idea to put yourself one step ahead of those who aren’t.