5 Simple Steps to Prevent Expense Fraud

For thousands of bookkeepers Melbourne, the first thing they notice when taking on a new client is expense fraud. Now, for most, they wouldn’t think this was such a big deal or indeed possible but in actual fact, frauds occur so very frequently. The trouble is that some expense frauds are hard to notice and if you aren’t someone who takes care of the books personally then it’s a nightmare. However there are many simple and effective ways to help prevent this from happening.

You Must Clarify Your Expense Reports Reporting Times

Most businesses have a straightforward policy when it comes to their expenses and yet they can be so easily ignored. It is vital to ensure any and all employees submit their expense reports in a timely manner. Expenses should be submitted to you or the right department within at least one month. Thirty days should be sufficient time to get the necessary expense reports together and in. Also you should never accept larger expenses without proof such as a receipt. This will make it far simpler for your bookkeeper too and this will help to ensure no frauds are committed. It is easily done so make sure your employees know the limits.

Ensure Employees Are Given Information about the Expense Policies

Some businesses hand over an employee handbook in which states facts about the role they are in, however, some of these books do not include expense policies and potential violations. That can be a real issue simply because the employee may not be aware of what those policies are. It would be a great idea to prepare a very brief document or handbook on the expenses and the policies too. The handbook can cover things such as what are classed as expenses and how to prepare expense reports also. Violations and other legal matters can be added and this will ensure the employees are aware of the consequences too. To find out more, check out www.bookkeeperco.com.au.

Have a Reviewing System

Do you actually look at your current expense reports or just hand them over to another department? If you do, it’s time to stop! It is crucial for there to be a basic reviewing system in place so that you can ensure all expenses are legitimate and approved. You can do this yourself or get a third-party individual to do so for you and any red flags can be reviewed by you personally. If there is something that needs more clarity, then ask the employee about the expense; your bookkeepers Melbourne will probably advise you the same thing. You might think it’s not necessary as you trust employees but you never know what they might be tempted to do. Also, it protects your business integrity.

Conduct Spot-Checks Of the Past History of Employees

Things can slip past you even when you conduct a rigorous reviewing system which is why it’s necessary to think about spot-checks. These are good and can give you a very in-depth look at employee’s expense reports over the last few months. It is good practice to do this and while you might not find anything out-of-the-ordinary, it can put your mind at ease your employees are trustworthy. Bookkeepers will often do the same thing; to find out more, check out www.bookkeeperco.com.au.

Deal With Any Suspicious Expense Reports

If you do come across one or two expense reports that don’t seem to add up, you need to investigate them more closely. You have to look into what the employee’s claim as expenses and find out whether or not it’s a legitimate expense. If you don’t believe it is, call the employee in and ask for proof like a receipt. After talking to the employee and you still think something isn’t right but can’t quite prove it, give them a verbal talking to and explain that there was an issue with their expenses. This may help prevent another issue later. Ask your bookkeeper and he or she will say it is a good practice to think about.

Expense Fraud Can Happen So Be On Your Toes

While you might trust all employees and believe they will never intentionally steal from you, you just can’t be sure. We live in a world where money means everything and sometimes, employees are desperate enough to try to claim something back. That is why you have to do your best to prevent fraud from occurring. The above steps may just help you. Contact your bookkeeper and ensure he or she knows your policies on expense fraud too. Click here!

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