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Abe
28-05-2009, 08:43 AM
When is fiddling, fraud?

Expense claim “fiddling” generally falls into categories; inventing and inflating claims or breaching the policy on what can be claimed, for example, claiming for a satellite TV package and not just the cost of the Internet in that package.

How can companies protect themselves from fictitious, inflated or invalid expense claims?

An expense policy is a must;


[/LIST]this should give guidance to staff on what they may claim,

any limits in terms of value or time,

confirm the consequences of breaching the policy.

Consideration should be given to subsistence budgets; where overnight stays are concerned will you reimburse the cost of meals, but not alcohol? Advise staff of your expectations at the outset by specifying amounts, for example, “if you leave home to travel to a client before 6.30am then you may add the cost of breakfast of up to £5.50 to your expenses claim”.

It is important to detail in the policy what evidence is required to claim back any incurred expense, i.e. what receipts /evidence of purchase are required.

Set a time limit for submission of expense claims, for example, within 6 months of incurring the business expense.

Without a clear policy on what is deemed acceptable, it is far more difficult to discipline, and ultimately dismiss, staff for breaking “the rules” unless the employee has submitted a blatantly fictitious expense claim.

Circulated to all employees who may incur business expenses.

What to do if you suspect “fiddling”
If you suspect that one of your employees has submitted a fictitious or inflated claim, you should investigate thoroughly and act immediately.

If expenses claims go unchecked, it will be more difficult to obtain evidence from the employee or to take disciplinary action further down the line.

What to do if you have overpaid expenses
If you have overpaid expenses, like in the cases recently highlighted for certain MPs, as long as your deduction from wages relates to overpaid expenses, you can usually deduct any overpayments. This should be done in a reasonable manner (so as not to breach the trust and confidence between employer and employee).

It is important to construct your policy with your business in mind; do employees travel overseas, in which case, how will you calculate the exchange rate? And do your employees work from home, in which case, how will you allow them to reclaim phone calls and general office supplies?

Acknowledgement:
HR Weekly

Brian_UK
28-05-2009, 11:05 PM
They felt it was prudent to publish this so that certain public figures who have been fiddling might know how the ordinary people have to live.