It is no secret that employees frequently try to expense goods and services which their companies have no obligation to pay for. A recent study highlighted several particularly extravagant deviations from corporate expense reporting compliance
. As the Chicago Tribune explained, expense report analysis conducted as part of the study revealed that some workers tried to get their employers to pay for clothing purchases (including items from Nordstrom and Victoria's Secret), fine wines (tens of thousands of dollars' worth, in some instances) and high-priced cellphones not covered by company contracts.
A firm that does not have a strict business expense compliance
policy in place may open itself up to being taken advantage of by canny employees looking for every opportunity to buy goods or services on the company's dime. If this situation sounds familiar, a suggested first step is to instate a no-tolerance approach when it comes to itemization—specifically, firms should categorically refuse to reimburse workers who submit receipts without including important information that adequately breaks down which expenses belong to which people, what services were rendered, where and when the transactions took place and other pertinent details.
"Everybody's done this—you go out to a dinner and you end up having a bunch of drinks with your steak and the bill comes, and you submit the final bill and nothing is itemized," said Eric Sikola of ExpenseCloud, as quoted by the news source
. "A company should really have a policy in place that requires itemized receipts so they aren't losing money."How expense reporting technology can help
By integrating comprehensive expense reporting software
, such as Sage Timeslips, companies can more easily hone in on fraudulent or simply misguided employee expense claims. Expense reporting technology
can also be helpful in terms of streamlining the approval and reimbursement process for legitimate claims, which allows worker repayments to go through sooner.
In addition to introducing added efficiency, expense reporting automation may have a positive effect on workplace satisfaction levels. Workers who are forced to wait for long periods of time before they are reimbursed often experience significant amounts of frustration, and some may persistently badger human resources staff to check on the statuses of their claims. In such cases, the quicker these workers can be repaid, the better, and expense reporting software can assist with this.