Are expense reports worth auditing

Many payables functions spend considerable time verifying that all expenditures are documented with receipts. Is this a productive use of the payables function’s time?  Major firms answer no.

These companies have switched to company-provided credit cards and random expense reporting auditing. The threat of a random audit will achieve the honesty factor that firms are looking to ensure.

The right to spend company funds without prior approval is a privilege. With that privilege comes a trust that can’t be violated.  If people do not honor that trust you don’t need them.  People with honor understand the trust and respect it.  If you must check an employee’s expense account because you don’t trust them or think they may be cheating, why do you want them in your organization.

To quote How to Become a Great Boss, by Jeffrey J Fox[1], “having to check expense accounts means you have the wrong people.”

[1] How to Become a Great Boss: The Rules for Getting and Keeping the Best Employees, Jeffrey J Fox, published May 15, 2002, Hachette Books.

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