Potential Possibilities of Corporate Travel Expense Fraud

In travel and expense management, employees may engage in various fraudulent activities. You have to understand various types of fraud in order to combat how it is occurring.

Reimbursement for Same Expenses

When an employee sends reimbursement requests for the same expense multiple times, the audit department will find it difficult to identify such expense requests.

Fictitious Expense Claims

When employees make reimbursement requests for personal purchases it can go unnoticed resulting in fraud.

Overstated Expense Claims

When employee tampers the actual cost of an expense and sends a reimbursement request.

Below are some of the common ways in which business travelers submit fake expenses:

Car Mileage

Claiming additional mileage is a common way of getting reimbursed more. When employees use cash, it is difficult to track expenses throughout the entire travel.

Out-of-policy Expense Claims

While companies have set guidelines for what they will allow employees to spend and how employees fail to abide by these policies, expense claims may go unnoticed when not managed properly.

Personal Expenses

Few employees try to submit personal expenses as business expenses, which would mostly happen for meals or drinks. This becomes more difficult for accountants and travel managers to identify expenses that are not business related.

Out-of-policy Expense Claims

Submitting out-of-policy expense claims is the most common way of getting paid more. It is difficult to get receipts for some expenses such as hotel tips or cabs. Company card cannot be used for paying such kind of expenses. So, overclaiming expenses can be easily done. Auditing should be done carefully for such expenses before processing the reimbursement.

Double Reimbursement

Some employees submit the same expense to multiple persons resulting in double payments. This is common with airline purchases and train tickets. Employees will get double reimbursement from the accountant or travel manager when the company’s size is large.

Combating Expense Fraud

Not all travelers try these strategies and their intentions are not always malicious. In some cases, travelers may book out-of-policy and spend more, but traveler may not have the intention to commit fraud.

Resolving expense report fraud can be difficult. One way is to utilize technology. Travel and expense management solution makes travelers accountable for their expenses by mandating receipt attachment to the report and by allowing them to make travel bookings within the corporate policy. Also, companies need to implement a robust audit system, which flags suspicious claims at the time of processing. Tracking traveler data can also help in tracing out who is spending more. Post-travel reimbursement can even reduce the employee’s ability to overclaim or over-state potential travel costs.

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