People don’t want to talk about it. Companies don’t want to admit they’ve got a problem with it. We’ve heard from some employees they know they have “massive amounts of it” in their organization. But for companies large and small, expense report fraud remains a dirty secret.
Expense report fraud actually accounts for 15% of all reported fraud (other occupational fraud includes corruption, financial reports, billing, accounting, etc.). And all types of industries experience fraud, from banking and financial to technology, manufacturing, government, nonprofit, education and healthcare. In other words: it happens in pretty much every industry.
Throughout the month of May, we’re focusing on how to identify fraud and abuse in your organization—big or small. And from there, we’ll share ways that you can prevent it. Whether it’s understanding the legal severity of it or communicating with employees about it, we’ll share ways that will help you and your company plan for and deal with expense report fraud.
Some people call it “padding their expense report.” It’s just a few dollars here and there. Who’s it going to hurt? The company won’t really miss it, right? Plus, those smaller amounts aren’t really that big of a deal to a company. In reality, expense fraud costs a company a median loss of $33,000 on average in each instance. Despite what it’s called, padding is fraud. And it’s a crime.
We’ve asked both Concur experts and industry experts to share their knowledge and recommendations. We’ve asked business travel expert Elizabeth West from ProMedia Travel to shed some light on how to identify and prevent it in business travel. How can your mobile phone help prevent fraud? We’ve asked Concur Mobile expert Nancy Callahan to share ideas with you. Need help writing a corporate expense policy? Suzanne Fletcher, long-time travel manager and former president of NBTA, has tips. How can reporting and auditing help? Concur solution expert Tami Tran provides an insider’s look. All through the month, small business expert and USA Today columnist Steve Strauss has help for small businesses, which are particularly hard hit by expense fraud.
Despite the prevalence of expense fraud, we don’t want it to remain a stressful topic for anyone. No more headaches or sleepless nights. Rather, by the end of this series we hope the issue of expense report fraud is something you’ll know exactly what to do about if and when you discover it at your business.
If you have questions about questionable or suspicious expenses that you’ve seen come through on expense reports in your company, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get an expert opinion for you. We’ll post your question and the answer on the next day’s blog post. You and your company will be kept confidential.