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Roses shouldn't be free: How employees cheat employers around Valentine's Day

February 12, 2018 / in Artificial Intelligence, T&E Fraud / by Josh Anish

Falling in love can be wonderful. With our heads in the clouds, we sit back and ruminate on our blissful fortune—sometimes temporarily losing track of time, cares, and even our friends. What we shouldn’t lose in love, however, is our jobs. And what’s one of the fastest ways to get downsized? That would be defrauding a company on an expense report.

 

Here are the most head-spinning examples—found by our automated auditing platform—of crimes of Valentine’s Day passion on expense reports.

 

Many wedding ceremonies include the notion of two becoming one. While this is a beautiful sentiment when it comes to domestic bliss and selflessness, it’s not so great when an employee makes such a claim on an expensed dinner.

 

For example, every February, our system triggers a handful of price audits for dinner checks. The red flags turn out to be dinner bills that go above and beyond the company’s budgeted  meal limit. These dinners often feature wine and two main dishes—and the employer pays the bill. Two meals become conveniently become one in the name of non-compliance.

 

Another example of cupid’s arrow clouding employee judgement resides in the flower patch. There are of course a handful of circumstances in which it would be appropriate to expense flowers. Perhaps a partner just lost a loved one, or a key client recently had a baby. But that shouldn’t explain why, according to the AppZen platform, such a disproportionate number of all 2017’s expense report line items for flowers were submitted for February.

 

For a Fortune 500 company, we found a more… advanced show of spousal support. One employee had the perspicacity to expense a hotel room with his wife for a Valentine’s Day getaway. The kids went to Grandma’s, and the bill went to the back office.  

 

Data from our platform shows that grooming expenses also spike in February. While, again, there are plenty of good reasons to expense a manicure—working in cosmetics, for example—frostiness can’t be the sole explanation for the significant spike in 2017’s expensed manicures during the month of Saint Valentine.

 

While AppZen wasn’t created to shame those in love, our platform has been spotting these strands of Valentine’s Day malfeasance for employers. The moral of the story is that while we more than support work-life balance, the life part should pay for your Valentine’s Day date. ❤️💰😊

Tags: Artificial Intelligence, T&E Fraud

  

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