The world of business today is truly global. For many companies, this means more opportunities but also more costs. This year, companies are estimating an annual spend in excess of $318 million on business travel alone.
With these numbers, it doesn’t take much of a stretch to see why companies would also need to guard against expense report fraud. In fact, in just three years’ time (2006 to 2009), business fraud costs increased by an estimated two-thirds over previous years.
But with the help of these tech tools, it is becoming possible to crack down on business travel fraud in new and effective ways.
No More Per-Diems with Employee Software
As the need for cumbersome, manual paper expense forms, complete with those awful paper sheets with receipts stapled to them, has declined, so have flat per diem expense rates.
A new breed of human resources and employee management software tools has largely automated this formerly onerous task, lifting the need for flat rate per diems that often overpaid employees for their actual travel expenses.
No More Padded Mileage with GPS Tracking
Another area rife with employee fraud is mileage reimbursement….or at least it was, until GPS came along. With the new breed of GPS tools, employees can use their smart devices to make an electronic note of trip start and end times and track each mile driven along the route. Because the GPS is tied to the employee and not the vehicle, this also works with rental insurance costs and travel mileage in rent cars.
They can then submit their mileage logs with this GPS backup to verify their actual mileage.
No More Undocumented Expenses with Photo and Voice Tools
Companies that have had a policy of only requiring receipt to document expenses over a certain amount are finally getting a bit of their own back with the new breed of photo and voice documentation tools.
Today, with the help of phone cameras and voice recording technology, it takes only a second or two to capture and upload receipts to document each expenditure. Because these tools are so prevalent, fast and easy to incorporate, it adds no time to either the employee’s or the company’s day to make this change.
No More Airline Fraud with Travel Tracking
In days past, it was but the work of a moment for employees to use a cancelled itinerary as a chance to get a whole free airline ticket on the company’s dime. The way this worked was, an employee booked a trip, but then had to reschedule it for a later date. Instead of paying the change fee to use the original ticket, the employee would book a whole new itinerary on the company’s dime, keeping the original ticket for their own personal use later.
But now companies can use airline software to track travel charges to their corporate credit cards by employee. This helps ensure employees are using tickets previously booked instead of charging new ones to the company card.
No More Pricey Last-Minute Flights with Pre-Trip Approvals
Employees who had gotten in the habit of booking expensive last minute fares are now finding out that those days are numbered. This is thanks to new employee software that makes requiring pre-trip expense approval simple and quick to obtain.
As well, new and more detailed analytics can help extrapolate data on which employees regularly make late bookings so the company can investigate further. This helps ensure any accumulated travel mileage is used in a way that is most economical to the company.
With companies anticipating cumulative losses of $1 billion or higher annually to employee expense report fraud, the time to implement tech tools that guard against fraud is now. Since just 5 percent of employees commit an estimated 82 percent of fraud, this can make shutting down these fraudsters much easier.