If your Finance people aren’t using these controls to catch T&E bloat, they’re probably missing something.
Whether it’s a first class airline upgrade ticket or a bottle of wine at dinner, many rogue expenses can show up. And they’re difficult to catch.
1. Evaluate the 80/20 rule
Many companies use the 80/20 rule as a T&E audit guideline. The thinking is that 80% of reimbursement issues come from 20% of your travelers, so focusing on them should yield results.
It can work, with two caveats:• It doesn’t tell you what specifically to look at for problem travelers, and• Depending on travel levels, auditing 20% may still be too much work.
2. Drill down for deeper details
Once you have a list of frequent offenders to focus audits on, your next step is to determine expense categories that are ripe for overspending.
For instance, mileage is an easy enough expense to pad that leads to a sizable bump for the reimbursement check, even if you’re using less than IRS’ 55.5 cents per mile rate.
Any time you’re cutting a check for mileage, consider asking road-warriors to substantiate it with Google Maps printouts and reasons for the trips.
3. See who’s cutting it close
Another trend to look for: expenses that are just under your receipt cutoff.
If your company asks travelers for documentation on all expenses $25 or above, and a traveler routinely puts purchases of $24.95 on an expense report, it could be a sign of abuse.
In cases like those, lowering your receipt threshold for all travelers may be the only way to ensure you’re not overpaying any expenses.
For more, go to Business Travel News.