BTerrell Group Blog

FRAUD AND HOW TO FIGHT IT

Posted by Info Info on Tue, Sep 16, 2014

This blog post originally appeared in the Nexonia blog. Nexonia gave us permission to publish it.

WHAT FRAUD CAN LOOK LIKE AND HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS.

FraudCorporate fraud is a lot like a leak in your kitchen sink. It comes in small drops, day after day; cents and dollars quietly going down the drain. It may not even be really noticeable at any given time, but by the end of the year it all adds up to quite a bit. In fact, it adds up to approximately 5% of a company’s total annual revenue, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. And this is occurring even though corporate expenses are the second most controlled assets (next to salaries).

For a number of reasons, it’s the small businesses that suffer most from fraud because they are less likely to have control over employee spending procedures. Without defining and enforcing policies, without using some form of automation for handling expenses, and by rarely analyzing their financial flows - small businesses leave themselves open to these little leaks. Forgetting a receipt here and there or rounding up an expense once in a while becomes easy to get away with, and it all accumulates.

This is not to say that larger corporations are in the clear. Even though many may be better equipped to process expense reports with the checks and balances in place, more than half claim poor spending oversight and policy compliance from their employees. Moreover, according to the Aberdeen Group, one in three companies admits that it simply lacks spending control. That statistic is just way too high.

Here are a few of the most frequent ways employees are known to cheat the system:

  • SUBMITTING PERSONAL EXPENSES AS CORPORATE

    Was this meal a business lunch or was it hanging out with some friends? Was that a taxi to the airport to pick up an important client or a trip across town to visit family?

  • FAKE OR MISSING RECEIPTS

    Many companies do not require receipts for expenses up to a certain amount (ie: $25, $50 or $75), so it may be tempting to submit $49.95 for an “extra” working dinner without any proof. There’s also the possibility of fake receipts with an extra zero tagged on, or even an entirely new amount (think about all those hand-written receipts from taxi drivers). Some employees will go so far as to “borrow” a receipt from a friend (or even directly from a dishonest provider) and claim services which they never received themselves.

  • MULTIPLE CLAIMS FOR THE SAME EXPENSE

    Another case is credit card feeds and receipts being submitted separately for the same expense. Sometimes a single expense will be claimed a few times in different periods of time - weeks or even months after the service or the product was paid for.

  • EXAGGERATED EXPENSES

    The services were delivered and the receipt is usually attached. But it looks like things are a bit more expensive than if the employees would have paid themselves... first class air ticket, luxury hotel room, the best restaurant in town, etc. Overtipping also falls under this category.


So what are you to do about all these (and other) possible types of fraud? What are the best practices for a company to protect their assets from misclaimed expenses? Based on an AirPlus survey, here is how corporations can effectively fight fraud:

Policies & approvals

  1. CREATE CLEAR POLICIES AND APPROVAL PROCESSES

    With emphasis on clear. The majority of companies (81%) require management approvals for business expenses and have a corporate spending policy in place.

  2. REQUEST DOCUMENTATION AS PROOF

    Two thirds of corporations (66%) require receipts for all expenses, no matter how small the amount is.

  3. TRACK THE TRANSACTIONS

    Most respondents (59%) said they require employees use corporate cards for all corporate expenses. This can easily separate personal expenses from company ones, keep expenses organized, and serve as additional proof.

  4. AUDIT AND ANALYZE OFTEN

    Over half of the companies surveyed (52%) conduct a regular audit of expenses. Making sure your company also does this not only gives you better insight about your spendings, but increases discipline and compliance from employees.


At Nexonia we believe that simplifying your expense reporting leads to a better compliance. By automating the entire expense reporting process, you can keep your company’s money under control. Receipts and credit card transactions are immediately aligned with the expense report and can easily be accessed and audited at any time. The approval process and corporate spending policies are automatically enforced and streamlined, eliminating mistakes and miscommunication. With the ability to submit an expense directly from their mobile device, your employees can do so immediately after paying for a meal or while travelling back from a business trip. This not only reduces the time involved in completing and processing these reports, but it creates a digital paper trail that can be reviewed at any time. And all this data can be analyzed in any number of ways via custom reports, allowing you to see precisely how your corporate expenses are being handled.


Now that you are armed with all this information, what will you do to plug the leaks in your corporate finances? How will you choose to protect your company from possible fraud?

 

Tags: expense tracking, fraud prevention, fraud

Super Powers of the Cloud: The Security of Concur’s Cloud

Posted by Info Info on Wed, Jun 11, 2014

by Concur

 

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Super Powers of The Cloud. Previous entries can be found here.

Mobile app security is a concern for most app users, especially with the seemingly daily news stories of data breaches striking large companies. And it’s not just large companies being affected. For every security breach story that breaks, many more go untold. Symantec reports that companies with fewer than 250 employees were the focus of 31 percent of all cyber attacks in 2012, up sharply from 18 percent in 2011. 

It’s understandable for app users to feel unsure about the security of mobile apps, especially if these mobile apps require them to input sensitive information. And let’s face it; no one wants to feel vulnerable.

Like superheroes need capes and armor, app developers and app users need to know their environment is secure before they can wholeheartedly focus on doing superhuman work. Security is the platform upon which all productivity and collaborative benefits of apps can spring forward. Without security, all the perceived benefits of mobile apps can quickly become a mirage.

For example, Starbucks recently promised to tighten security on its IOS app because of a multitude of mobile app breaches. Because the app contained security flaws – including a lack of encryption, no password protection, and a clear-text data file that is easily exposed – the convenience benefits can be easily offset by security concerns, rendering the app useless for many users.   

Concur’s investment in security

Perhaps a more concerning trend than the amount of apps being hacked is the amount of companies who don’t seem to care about security.

This certainly is not the case at Concur, where mobile app security is a top priority. The Concur Trust Platform with PCI Compliance, ISO and SSAE 16 certifications are combined with data encryption and remote wipe capabilities, ensuring a secure solution for all users. And for those who argue that traditional, paper-based expense tracking is more secure, how is carrying around a stack of receipts and paperwork more secure than a locked, password-protected phone?

Concur’s mobile app security does not allow sensitive credit card data to be stored on the mobile device when transactions are conducted. What this means is that the most sensitive client information (e.g. credit card info) is housed only in Concur’s secure data center, not on the mobile device. Whether clients use Concur’s web-based service or mobile app, they can rest assured their information is safe.

If you’re considering mobile app usage to increase capabilities, productivity and employee satisfaction at your business – but are concerned about mobile app security implications – rest assured that Concur’s top priority has been, and will continue to be, the security of our users.

Expenses affect every part of your company. Learn why more organizations are leveraging Concur’s automated expense tracking solutions to not only address mobile app security, but financial security as a whole. Don’t wait, fix it.

Tags: security, cloud, concur, expense tracking