What you’ve done to make your business a victim of fraud

… or rather what you haven’t done. You didn’t mean for the consequences to happen, but sins of omission may be laying your business open to fraud. Here’s what you can do about it in all sorts of areas such as your expense management system, starting today; starting as soon as you’ve read this blog post. And it could cost you nothing at all…

Fraud, like charity, begins at home. And it could be happening to your business even as you read this post. And if it is happening, it may well be that you’ve only yourself to blame.

You probably have high standards of honesty and integrity, but the trouble is that you judge others by your standards. That’s your first mistake.

Sadly, the truth is that, even if you’ve hired carefully, if you have relaxed methods of cost control or expense management you may be placing temptation in the way of people who, for whatever reason, find themselves in need of more money. Your money. They may well find that the temptation to take advantage is just too great, so they will, if you’ve made fraud too easy. That’s your second mistake.

The fraud statistics
According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the world’s largest anti-fraud organisation, the average organisation loses 5% of its revenue to fraud of all kinds – and three in five of them never recover the losses.

The same organisation says frauds, on average, ‘run’ for 18 months before they’re detected, which allows fraudsters to steal away with more than £80,000.

It’s therefore the work of a few moments to establish how much you could be using – a fiver in every £100. (Although that’s bad enough, remember that you still have all the bills to pay, but less money to pay them with, so the bottom line could amount to even more financial pressure).

Start with the small stuff
Now, it’s fair to say that the AFCE stats include all kinds of fraud, and it may well be that the lion’s share of that involves storing and disposal of confidential data – as computer files or hard copies.

But that’s no reason not to look at the small stuff, which is what Solo Expenses online expense management software is ready to do for you now. In fact, it’s an easy win you could achieve almost immediately, giving you confidence to explore more ways to fight fraud.

By implementing a policy based on its easy-to-use app interface, and making it clear that all expenses must be claimed through it, at a stroke you’ll implement a system that’s fair, equitable, and that makes it easy for you to monitor spending that you’re prepared to reimburse.

Receipts can be photographed, journeys measured, and expenses collated so that everyone knows exactly where they stand, and the app can become a conscience for employees tempted to claim ‘just a bit extra’. Because it’s smartphone based, Solo Expenses can be your expense management system anywhere you can get a signal, at any time of the day or night. Solo Expenses was the first software of its kind to be created with sole traders in mind; but we came onto the scene more than a decade ago. Today we’d claim to be a global player in the online expense management business, because we have satisfied users in almost 100 countries. There is a version for individuals (though you’d hardly be likely to be defrauding yourself), for small companies and for corporates employing thousands.

There will be an element of training required in putting Solo Expenses to work in your business, but because it’s easy and intuitive to use, training need take only minutes. And whilst you’re doing that, it might be the right time to train your employees in other aspects of data security and anti-fraud message. Don’t lose sight of the fact that any kind of training (and two-thirds of companies don’t do it regularly)

And finally, the cost…
Potentially noting. Seriously. Go back to those AFCE stats, and remind yourself that the average organisation loses 5% of its revenue to fraud. Unless you’re looking hard at your own company, you can’t know what its figure is, or how much employees are ‘overclaiming’ on their expenses.

There is a payment to be made for the Solo Expenses software, of course there is, but it could well turn out to be much less than you’re losing to fraud. And if that’s the case, then when you become our customer, we’re both winners. Look at the packages and benefits here.

Taking all of that into account, if you still don’t think Solo Expenses is worth another look, we’d humbly suggest that’s your third mistake…

Picture: Andrea De Martin | Dreamstime