Common expense reporting errors (and how to stop them!)

Posted by: Schepisi - Friday, October 09, 2015

Are errors becoming too frequent? Are you overwhelmed? Is your current system just not doing the job anymore? Is it too slow, too difficult, too cumbersome?

Then read on. We’ve got some answers that just might help you avoid expense management torment.

Avoid these expense management errors

What are some common expense reporting errors?

  • Lost receipts

  • Human error

  • Poor visibility

  • Complicated systems

  • Expense fraud (more on that below)

  • Inaccurate and incorrect timesheet reporting

These errors not only skew your data, but they’re also a awfully big time drainer. Human errors in particular are tough – sometimes, a mistake just slips through. We’re only human.

Expense reporting mightn’t be your favourite task of the month, but an efficient expense reporting and management system can help you leap over the hurdle.

Should I be concerned about business fraud?

In a word?


This could be an entire post on its own, but we’ll try to keep it brief. Inflated or ‘rounded up’ figures can add up super quickly.

It’s highly disappointing to learn of internal business fraud, but if it is, for any case, happening (or has happened only once in the past), you need to be on top of it.

Examples of business fraud include:

  • Expenses for plane tickets of cancelled flights

  • Reimbursement for items that were never actually purchased (client gifts, etc.)

  • Registration fees for events that were not attended (e.g. a conference or a networking event)

Investigations aren’t fun, and despite thinking you’re off the hook if you’ve been getting away with it for a while, an investigation is likely to be the one way that you’re caught out.

So if you’re an employee, think carefully about the next time you want to slip that Friday nigh cocktail into an expense report. It’s not worth it!

Above all, it’s not honest. In fact, it’s fraud, regardless of whether it’s accidental or intentional.

(And if you want to dive into a whole lot of corporate scandals, go here. It’s not pretty.)

How can I better manage and monitor by business’s expenses?

✔ Defined expense policies
Avoid stuffy jargon, keep it concise, and make it very clear what does and what does not constitute a business expense (think about everything from mobile devices to fancy dinners).

✔ Clear itemisation
That is, think deeper than a general category. For example, “business travel” should be further split into flights, accommodation, car hire, food, entertainment, transport, etc.

✔ Imposed time limits
Think something structured and clear that people can follow, like “submissions to be received within 30 days of a cost being incurred.

✔ The right software solution
If your current system is not providing the visibility, ease, clarity and organisation you think you need, then it’s time to start thinking.

The right software is going to reduce strain and billing errors – reducing the time you waste rectifying mistakes – and will improve efficiency.

Expense abuse can be reduced and expense management can be better managed and closely monitored with an expense management tool.

Tangoe Expense Management solutions

Keep doing your inaccurate thing and you might end up losing money.

When it comes to telecommunications expense management (TEM), you can improve efficiency, adhere to compliance, avoid the risk associated with fraud, and promote tremendous visibility with Tangoe.

Tangoe can turn around the rage you feel when it comes to invoices for your telecommunications needs, including:

  • Contracts and rates

  • Bill payments

  • Devices

  • Disputes

Discover more about Tangoe Expense Management. There, you can also fill in a form to learn more about how Tangoe can clear the fog and bring back visibility to your complete communications lifecycle.

You might also like…

If you’re keen to keep reading about Tangoe, the expense management system that monitors and measures your entire communications cycle, you might also like to check out the following blog posts:

☞ Expense management software: the new costs of business communication you weren’t measuring 30 years ago

☞ 10 quick tips about our expense management system

☞ Tangoe: your complete communication management system

Schepisi Telstra business partner Australia