You value the hard work your employees put in, which is why you reimburse them for travel and other business-related expenses. However, Houston business owners must be wary of expense fraud, which can occur when employees take advantage of employers who are only trying to do right by them. Expense fraud can affect virtually every business, and over time costs can add up, thereby hampering future success.
According to Inc., there are several steps you can take to prevent expense fraud from occurring within your enterprise. For instance, instead of simply reimbursing employees for expenses paid out of pocket consider using a corporate credit card system. Issuing corporate credit cards will make it much easier for you to stay abreast of employee expenses, while also making it more difficult for employees to misrepresent costs.
No matter what method of reimbursement you ultimately choose, you should explicitly lay out what types of expenses will be covered by corporate and how much money an employee has at his or her disposal. This will stop employees from alleging they were unaware that a specific expense was unapproved. Additionally, request employees turn in receipts related to money spent so you have actual documentation.
If you do catch an employee committing an act of expense fraud, following through with punitive measures is vital to illustrate just how seriously these matters are taken. Failure to do so could result in other employees attempting the same, since they will perceive repercussions to be relatively light. Also, you should always be on the lookout for expenses that seem out of place or excessive. This can be accomplished by creating a comprehensive review process for expense reports that involves several different facets of your company.