December 30: Fraud is not local to any country. Over the years, our data has been presenting to us how claimants try to make claims, which are fraudulent. Here are a few examples from a larger set and how we stop them.
Mileage / Conveyance Fraud: In many instances, two claimants travel together from Point A to Point B, and claim for the same journey individually! To address this, ExpenseOnDemand uses AI, which seeks out such claims and presents these to the finance approvers (Finance team), with a suggestion that the two claims are for the same journey. The key is presenting to the finance team the correct information at the right time and stop such claims.
Claimants submitting two claims using the same receipt. The modus operandi is that one claimant submits an expense (say) on the 1st of the month, and the second submits another expense, using the same receipt on the 1st of the next month. In a manual system, there is no way to capture this fraud, especially if it is of small value. And in 98% of cases both claimants would be paid. However, in ExpenseOnDemand, our AI seeks out such expenses and presents these to the finance team for proper assessment. Each receipt in ExpenseOnDemand is stamped with a location, date, and time when the expense is uploaded. By clicking on this link, the Approver and the Finance team can see where the expense is actually incurred and where it was uploaded. Hence, when the 2nd expense is submitted for finance approval, ExpenseOnDemand automatically presents to the finance team the data, which shows the fraudulent attempt.
Many claimants make claims for a place they do not even visit. A customers narrated to us a situation. An employee had got receipt books printed for several hotels at various locations. The fraud was discovered because in 8 out of 10 instances, the receipts were photographed and uploaded at their home, which was about 200 kilometres from the actual location! To confirm this, the Finance team also made calls to the hotel, with the receipt number and date of stay, and found that only 2 were genuine and 8 were a fraud. The suspicion rose when the finance team clicked on the location, and in 8 instances, the location centred on the claimant’s home.
Submitting duplicate expenses. Many claimants try to claim the same expense, sometimes intentionally, after a gap of a few months. In a manual system, small value items can never be captured unless the finance team is very vigilant or by fluke. In ExpenseOnDemand, our AI alerts the claimant that the expense they are trying to claim is a duplicate. However, if it is a genuine “duplicate”, the claimant can still submit it, but with a justification note. The Approver and the Finance Approver can view the duplicate expense too, together with ALL the receipts uploaded by the claimant, and decide whether to Approve or Reject it. Our AI stops mistakes, and over time, ONLY genuine expenses go through, for example, where a claimant has (say) made two visits to a location in the same day, which can be verified by the time stamp.
These are just a few examples of how ExpenseOnDemand stops both small & high-value frauds. Separately, we have seen instances where claimants have tried to pass of a family dinner as a business dinner or a family air-trip as a business visit. Indeed, we have instances, where claimants have tried to pass of a haircut for $450 as a business expense or a bottle of champagne worth £900 as 4 bottles of wine.
Sunil Nigam is the Founder of ExpenseOnDemand, the global expenses app. ExpenseOnDemand Ltd was established in 2003 and now has offices in England, Australia, India and Singapore.