For many years, one of the great truisms of sending employees on working trips was that it was a huge, tedious activity for everyone involved. The employee in question needed to relocate to a strange place in order to get work done, but at the same time, needed to pay for his or her own survival needs, such as food and transportation, out of his or her own pocket while there.
Of course, any organisation understands that there’s a professional and moral obligation to compensate an employee for these expenditures, and that’s where the expense report comes in. This is the accounting that an employee must make by him or herself, that shows where the money was spent while traveling, and just how much the company needs to reimburse.
The problem comes when some employees see this as an opportunity abuse the system. Falsified expense reports, while not common, can have a significant impact on company budgets as some unscrupulous employees add more to their pocket by submitting false reports claiming for far more reimbursement than they are actually due. In the past, with the need for receipts, documentation, and processing by finance staff at the company, there were many “gaps” in the process that could be exploited.
Today, with modern techniques such as software, like ExpensePoint, things have changed a lot, and people are easier to catch when they do this.
The Receipt Is Everything
One of the most common ways to exploit an expense report was through abusing the receipt itself. Obviously, the most important thing to do during a working trip is to actually get the work done. This takes precedence over everything. In the hustle and bustle of doing that work, collecting receipts can often be forgotten, or they can be later lost when it’s time to gather them up for collating with a report. Many times, there are gaps and missing receipts that account for some of the cost in an expense report, and some employees have taken advantage of that inflate their reports.
With expense report software, entering a purchase or other transaction can happen right on the spot, and take seconds, including using the camera of an employee’s smartphone to take a photo of the receipt itself to verify authenticity, rather than needing to keep it for later filing.
In this way, employees who are merely disorganised or slow to act with itemizing receipts have a much easier time remaining compliant with company policy. On the other hand, an employee who constantly fails to comply and, at the same time, consistently applies for high amounts of reimbursement stands out much more quickly, and can be quickly investigated, discovered and disciplined.
Dishonest employees that rely on exploiting receipts in order to fabricate false expense reports quickly give themselves away with expense report software. The consistency with which they fail to produce receipts while at the same time submitting the most expensive reports is a valuable red flag to the management that there’s a problem that needs addressing. With software like ExpensePoint, you protect yourself from this kind of breach of trust.