all of this data is required can often give them the nudge they need
to be truthful with their reporting.
As another example, it’s relatively common to overstate per-sonal
driving reimbursement with manual expense reporting, as
it can often be hard to verify mileage claims without manually in-putting
addresses into Google Maps, which is extremenly tedious.
An expense management solution can incorporate an automated
mileage calculator, showing a map of the route taken and automat-ically
calculating the distance. Again, making it easier to be honest
and ensuring that it’s simple to spot a potentially false mileage
claim is often enough of a deterrent.
However, there is still a hardcore group that will deliberately
try to submit fraudulent expenses, and may collude with a super-visor
for them to knowingly approve a false claim. Technology can
also play a role here, both in preventing the submission of fake ex-penses,
as well as spotting expenses if they can make it through
the submission process. One example for collusion is when a man-ager
and their subordinate have a meal together, for which the
subordinate deliberately submits an inflated expense amount. The
manager then approves the expense, and the two will share the ex-cess.
In this case, an intelligent expense management system will
know the approval hierarchy, and enforce a business rule whereby
an expense for the meal would need to be submitted by the most
senior attendee, and then approved by their own boss, thereby re-moving
the chance of collusion. In-line audit capabilities can also
be built into a system, so an expense report that fits a certain set of
criteria could automatically be flagged for audit (e.g., by a corpo-rate
controller) before approval.
Removing the temptation to inflate expenses and making it
easy for employees to make the good decisions can take many
forms, but creating an environment where travelers are guided
to do the right thing (whether through education or technology)
will always deliver positive results. Whether it’s helping pre-vent
the otherwise star employee from ruining their career over
a $100 expense report, or reducing the stress on the HR manag-er
who has to deliver that news, an ounce of prevention is better
than a pound of cure. n
Greg Allworth is director, Canada at Chrome River Technologies,
a provider of expense management and supplier invoice processing
In Human Resources
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HRPROFESSIONALNOW.CA ❚ MAY 2017 ❚ 27