Organisations must assert greater control over their finances

expenses

How far would you go to make some extra cash? Would you do a bit of moonlighting? Or would you be more daring and attempt to make a sideline from your company expense system? If it is the second option, your role model might be Gus Gorman in Superman III who defrauds his employer of $85,000 when he collects the rounded-up half-cents floating around inside the computer expense system.

The film’s plot nicely exposes the frailties and inefficiencies of the traditional approach to expenses: ask people to file paper returns, and fail to accurately track where money is really being spent, and the result can be a potential means for errant individuals to boost their incomes.

The odd exaggerated pound on mileage and an over-generous subsistence claim might not seem like a big deal. But for larger organisations, such unnecessary costs can quickly start to add up and become a significant cost black hole.

Organisations must seek to assert greater control over their finances. And IT and HR directors at the smarter firms are increasingly turning to employee expense management systems to do this.

Such technology creates a simple and effective management solution that allows staff to input their travel and subsistence expense claims online. The result is more accurate and effective means of managing staff expenses – and the potential cost savings make for impressive reading.

Efficiency savings typically include an 18 per cent reduction in mileage expense payments. In addition, organisations are able to benefit from a nine per cent reduction in staff expenses spend – a figure that highlights how potential fraudsters are forced to think twice before submitting false accounts.

Clever systems ensure that claims are checked and validated against an organisation’s policy. Errors are captured and flagged before they reach the payment phase, allowing authorisers to quickly query a wayward claim.

Which means only two things: an attempt from an individual to be the next Gus Gorman is bound to fail, and your organisation is likely to save a great deal of money in the long term.

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Dean Dickinson is Managing Director of Advanced Business Solutions, formerly COA Solutions. Dean has been in the finance software business since 1990. He was part of the senior management team at QSP/Arelon prior to the acquisition by COA Solutions at which time he became Deputy Managing Director for the business as a whole. Since the acquisition of COA Solutions by Advanced Computer Software Group in February 2010, Dean has become Managing Director for Advanced Business Solutions. He is a specialist in consultancy and has a strong knowledge of business processes within a high volume/high value environment.