The subject of fraud and improper spending has been in both regional and global news of late. In Canada, questions about proper expense tracking for senators and ex-senators have also led to an extensive investigation of overall municipal oversight in expense tracking and accountability for individuals. However, the evaluation of validity in the transfer of funds is also becoming a concern for other nations, in government and business practices.
One current and ongoing factor that these investigations have also highlighted is government spending in regards to campaign activities, especially with the upcoming presidential race already in full swing in the US. Although some of the higher profile candidates are already receiving scrutiny for expense tracking with campaign funds, the focus on the possibility of misuse is likely to impact anyone planning on running for office in the future.
There are several lessons that companies and other organizations should take away from impact that audits are having on government officials. Primarily:
- Accountability – this applies to both the individuals who are in question for improper spending, but also to the accounting departments and CFOs who approve these expenditures.
- Adherence to protocols – while some company and municipal expense tracking will afford the ability to combine personal and business travel, actual reimbursements still fall under the protocols of separating personal and business expenses. Generating greater clarity for these protocols through expense tracking is also a necessary outcome.
- Accurate reporting – this can also become a responsibility for both individuals and the company overall, since this not only protects internal investments, but can also reduce down time that may be the result of audits and fined. Expense tracking also reinforces the need for better practices in keeping expense records, and providing clarity through the information that is provided.
Both municipal and corporate spending can largely affect the private sector, which means that the increase in evaluation of methods will also continue. Higher standards for accountability, responsibility, and business ethics are not limiting, but are actually the means to more substantial growth. With expense tracking that can show transparency in action, organizations and individuals are also making a commitment to the most beneficial use of resources for public and private entities, as well as the community as a whole.