Learn the Signs of Expense Fraud and How to Prevent It


Millions of companies may be found all over the world, and each one faces the risk of employee dishonesty. Especially in the case of smaller businesses, the activities of a small number of employees might have an outsized effect on the company’s bottom line.

An Explanation of Expense Fraud

Expense fraud is routinely regarded as the most common kind of employee fraud. While fraud is estimated to generally result in a loss of 5% of sales globally, expense fraud alone accounts for 14.5% of all fraud that is identified. Employees who want to gain financially at the expense of their company will always exist. False claims for business expenses are always bad news, although not all of them are done maliciously. Any suspicious or exaggerated monetary transactions may be explained away as simple typos or lost receipts. Because of this, you should make your budgeting process as clear and easy to follow as possible to reduce the likelihood of human mistake. It is also important to thoroughly evaluate and investigate false accusations before speaking to employees about them.

Just what does it mean when people commit fraud with their spending?

Expense fraud is when a person makes a concerted attempt to lie about their spending. When a worker knowingly produces exaggerated cost reports, this is called “expense fraud.” Overstating the amount that should be paid for restaurant tips, submitting more than the authorised amount, and providing receipts for products or journeys that were not used are some of the most common instances of expense fraud. For example, they may try to pass off an expensive dinner with friends as a “work supper,” or they may try to write off a business trip as a vacation after the fact. Either of these situations is likely to cause significant issues for your company.

  • Expenses incurred for trips that were never taken, such as the cost of unused airline tickets or a hotel room that was never used.
  • False claims for goods, such as office supplies, that were never purchased.
  • Even if employees travelled together, they should each be billed for their own mileage.
  • Bills with inflated totals of cumulative kilometers travelled that are for items not eligible for reimbursement, including alcohol or recreational activity tickets.

Some employees are chronic forgers, stockpiling blank cab and restaurant receipts so they may file fraudulent expense reports. These purchases are followed by submitting fraudulent expense reports and accompanying receipts.

It’s important to remember that the people committing expense fraud are often those who are basically honest and have no aim of stealing from their employer. Because of the ease with which they may get away with it and their confidence that no one would notice, employees are more likely to commit small transgressions that they do not regard to be fraudulent. Human error and a lack of familiarity with or understanding of the organization’s expenditure policies are two common causes of mistakes. Choosing the right travel and expense policy is important.


Even if there are seldom any “bad actors” involved in cases of spending fraud, it is nevertheless important to keep an eye on the issue. It is possible that false claims for reimbursement of business costs would have a major effect on a company’s bottom line and would add to the general cost of doing business.