Take These Four Necessary Actions To Prevent T&E Fraud

Cara McDonald

According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the money lost by businesses to fraudsters amounts to more than $3.5 trillion each year.

That’s a big number. And while many CFOs and business leaders would like to think it won’t happen at their company, the truth is, if there is any kind of employee reimbursement program, there is the chance of fraud. But don’t sit back and wait. Instead be proactive and stop fraud before it happens. How? The best way to fend off fraud starts with getting a handle on your expense management program. (Need a place to start? Check out this expense policy template.)

Reel in all the apps

There is an app for just about anything, from transportation to hotel to banking and everything in between. While apps do make life convenient for the end user, they can also create challenges for finance teams trying to capture employee expenses. The use of all these apps also leads to increased errors and opens the opportunity for dishonest claims.

Take control of app usage by explicitly stating which apps employees can and cannot use. Ensure that any approved apps allow for easy tracking and transparency and update your expense policy with instructions on acceptable use and reimbursement process.

Implement a corporate card program

Many companies shy away from a corporate card program, thinking it will be hard to manage and open the opportunity for careless spending and, well, fraud. But, a corporate card program does the exact opposite. By mandating a corporate card program, you can more easily integrate your T&E data, validate costs and provide tighter controls over approved expenses and claims.

How does a corporate card program help with fraud? When an employee knows their company will be reviewing their credit card statement, it’s that much harder to hide or create fraudulent claims.

Go beyond automation to integration

Automating your expense management system is a great first step toward reducing error and fraud in your company. By going a step further, and integrating your travel and expense data, you will gain the visibility you and your team need to have a better grasp of employee spend.

Not only will your team enjoy the benefits of real-time data at their fingertips, you will be able to set tighter controls over expenses. Any expenses that are imported into your expense management system ensures that employees can’t modify or falsify expenses.

Automation and integration also benefit business travelers. Filing expense reports is much faster, and the process is easier, reducing error and increasing time to reimbursement. Enterprise mobility plays a huge factor in business travel, and an integrated expense management system can incorporate the use of mobile phones for capturing expenses on the road. This lessens the chance of lost receipts.

Take a closer look and audit

A review and audit of your expense management system is in order to ensure that you are properly incorporating updates to technology and process. In addition, advertising that you will be following up on and auditing expense reports keeps your employees honest.

Take this opportunity to get a grasp on expense management and reduce fraud in your company. Start 2018 off on the right foot: Learn more by downloading this report on T&E audit best practices.

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Cara McDonald

About Cara McDonald

Cara McDonald is a marketing consultant for SAP Concur.