Here are our top tips for preventing expense fraud, and protecting your business from misconduct.
What is expense fraud?
Expense fraud is effectively stealing from an employer. There are several reasons as to why an employee might commit expense fraud. They may be struggling financially. Perhaps they feel hard done by and that they deserve more. It might be as simple as them assuming that the odd expense here and there simply won’t be noticed.
What it comes down to, is an employee spending money that doesn’t belong to them. It breaches the trust between an employer and employee, and can also do a great deal of financial damage to the business.
So how can you prevent that from happening in your business?
Use digital receipts and make them compulsory
This is a very clear and simple way to monitor the transactions of your employees. Your team know that they need to think about their expenses and it’s a great way to keep them accountable whilst at the same time affording them trust.
Making the receipts digital also makes them much easier to store, manage and examine. You don’t run the risk of losing them like you could a physical receipt, and they’re much easier to locate if you need to find a specific receipt quickly. Using digital receipts also means that, with the right software, you can get a thorough digital audit trail. That allows you to see any changes and updates made to the expense claim.
Use business credit or debit cards
This is another sure way to keep on top of all of your employees expenses. Every major card provider (VISA, Mastercard, etc.) sends out feeds to your business card expense software. That enables you to view all of the important details, like the amount spent, currency, biller, date, time etc. It’s all on there, giving both employer and employee complete transparency.
Communicate your expectations clearly
It might sound obvious, but communication is key. If your employees know what their perimeters are, what’s expected of them and what’s unacceptable, expense fraud will be far less likely. If your employees get the impression that the odd £5 here and there won’t hurt, then it could very quickly turn into much larger amounts. Then you could see some serious damage.
Talk to your employees about your business ethics, your values, what you stand for. If your employees know that these values are imperative if they want to continue working for your business, then it should prevent them against trying their luck or being slightly too relaxed about the rules. This is also where a good corporate social responsibility policy can really help get your people to believe in your company values.
Outsource your audit checks
Dealing with expense fraud isn’t something any employer wants to deal with. No matter how objective you think you are as an employer, you’re always at risk of letting your thoughts and feelings affect your decisions. That’s why it might be worth outsourcing your audit-checks, and in fact all of your accounts, with an impartial third party. They can look at the numbers objectively, which limits damage control in terms of your employer-employee relations.
Need help with your accounts?
If you’re in need of some expert help or advice with your accounts, then Numero’s got you covered. Just get in touch with us today and let’s discuss how we can help your business.