Would You Know If Your Staff Were Making Fraudulent Expense Claims?

Submitted by Mark on 24th January 2018

HR, management training, responsibility, business, expense claims,

A recent survey by software company webexpenses claimed that businesses could be losing £100 million a year because of false and exaggerated expense claims. Almost 50% of respondents admitted that they had fiddled their expenses at some point by claiming for more miles than they had actually travelled.

The culture of fraudulent claims is changing and whilst exaggerations may be relatively small; which is perhaps why 8 out of 10 workers have never had their claims challenged, they can add up, and be a real cash drain for many businesses. 

Given these statistics, it’s likely that you may have this type of problem in your business and we have put together a few tips to help combat fraudulent claims.

Create a robust expense policy 

Do your employees know what’s expected of them when it comes to claiming expenses? Do you have a policy that explains the process, and if so, does it clearly state what they can claim for, and how they should do it? Are your current processes clear and well communicated, or are they vague and not really adhered to? 

Creating a policy that’s fit for purpose is often the first step to eradicating problems. All employees should understand how they should claim, and what they are entitled to. 

Conduct regular checks 

The survey found that very few companies carried out adequate checks on expenses claims which inevitably means that mistakes are being made; often due to genuine human error; however, a culture of over claiming can soon become the norm. 

You could choose to give line managers responsibility for carrying out regular, random checks, or you may delegate the task to your HR team.  The important thing is that there’s a process in place, and someone owns it. 

Keep things simple 

Many companies have complicated expense-claiming processes which are time consuming for everyone involved.  Look at your current process and if it’s long winded, consider how you can simplify it and make it more user friendly. 

Keeping track of receipts can turn into an administrative nightmare, and there are a number of simple apps on the market that can make your life a lot easier. 

Hopefully the majority of your staff will be claiming genuine expenses and it’s important to make sure they don’t feel as through their honesty is being questioned.   However, it is important that fraudulent expense claims don’t damage your business. 

If you would like to chat about implementing a robust policy to protect your business, please get in touch by completing the Contact Form or calling us on 01604 763494 to arrange your no-obligation discussion.