Many of you have told us stories about your colleagues’ fraud claims for expense reimbursement. And when you realize that one of the most frequent searches on a famous Internet browser is “how to make a fake expense report“, there is cause for concern (those are Mr. G’s words, not mine!).
Warning: although this article is based on real feedback, it is not intended to make you (more) paranoid about your colleagues but rather to give you some examples of fraud to watch out for (or maybe we are just trying to make you smile, you decide).
Today we will only talk about fraudulent expense reports but not about other forms of abuse (or there would be no end to it…). For obvious reasons, our witnesses have insisted on remaining completely anonymous. If you have any other anecdotes about fraud, whether funny or not so much, we invite you to send them to us for a chance to have them figure in the ranking below:
1. Client gifts
Bottles of alcohol, perfumes, chocolates… all these expenses could really be gifts for clients. However, some people bend the rule and take advantage of it to treat themselves or their loved ones.
One of my sources told me that an employee once tried to get reimbursed for a “babydoll”, supposedly a gift for a customer. My source was dubitative, to say the least.
2. Receipts in foreign languages
Some employees, under the pretence that they are traveling to a foreign country, seize the opportunity to put extras on their expense receipts. Sorry for not speaking Russian, I guess?
This is one of the most common frauds. When mileage reimbursement scales with the vehicle’s fiscal power, the employee may ask to be reimbursed for kilometres based on a 7 HP vehicle when in reality his vehicle only has 3 HP. Do remember to get a copy of the vehicle registration before any reimbursement!
4.The “Full Course Meals”
More and more of you no longer reimburse alcohol expenses. To get around this rule, many employees ask the restaurant owner to not list the alcohol on the receipt.
Not only are you losing out on the VAT front, you also no longer have visibility into what was actually consumed during the meal, since some employees even ask the restaurant owner to add a few euros to round the bill).
With our OCR, all fields such as VAT, currency or amount are automatically detected. With the electronic archiving, your expense receipts are stored in a secure cloud, no more paper.
5. Fake receipts
It is easy nowadays to get a machine to produce fake receipts. While this is surely a more extreme case of expense fraud, some people do go to extremes. It should be noted, however, that this may justify employee dismissal for serious misconduct (makes one think, doesn’t it?).
6. The “bills”
This one is a classic: the employee pretends his business card doesn’t work when paying for his cab and explains to the driver that he will forward the invoice to his accounting department for service payment. While the accounting department pays the amount to the service provider, the employee sends the same expense claim to his manager. Simple, but effective.
7. Frauds that don’t belong to any of the categories above
To our surprise, the cases below were reported by 90% of our respondents:
The employee collects someone else’s gas receipt.
The employee goes through the gas station garbage cans looking for receipts.
The employee picks up someone else’s parking receipt to be reimbursed because the amount is higher than the one on their parking receipt.
The employee asks to be reimbursed again for an old expense (remember to always get the original receipts before payment and do not encourage employees to keep them!).
The employee buys 20 euros worth of car wash tokens every week (to be fair, he could just be a total maniac).
The employee has corporate meal expenses on weekends even though he only works on workdays.
And I’ll finish by saying that expense fraud exists at all levels of the organization. So keep your eyes open.
And to avoid fraud… we have Notilus!
Both an expense report management software and a mobile application.
A single picture and, there you go! Everything is digitized and filed away thanks to our OCR and artificial intelligence.
You can throw away the paper receipts because everything is stored in a secure cloud for 10 years.
What better way to save you time and impress management with your irreproachable compliance with corporate travel policy?
Our solution is dedicated to the moblity management. In addition to the expense reports management you can plan, book and track your business trips. It is also possible to manage your car fleet.