Asking employees to estimate the distances they travel on road trips is an unreliable method of managing company costs. It’s why mileage expenses are such a notoriously difficult area of business finances to keep effective control of.
A 2019 global survey, commissioned by Webexpenses, found that 47% of employees admit to having falsified or exaggerated at least one of their mileage expense claims.
Because this way of tracking mileage is largely based on trust, the problem persists. Finance teams were unable to accurately check mileage claims...until now.
With mobile technology, GPS tracking, and cloud-based mapping services, business travel expenses are transforming. Road journeys can now be accurately managed, monitored, and reported.
So what does this mean for your business? Here’s how digital mileage tracking can save your business time and money:
Reduce errors and fraud in mileage expenses
Accuracy is embedded into the process with point-to-point analysis of employees’ road journeys. Through integration with mapping APIs, digital expense management systems can accurately track the exact distance travelled on every business journey.
Using the destination or zip/postal code, claimants enter the start and endpoints (as well as any ‘via’ destinations) and the system will automatically generate the accurate journey distance. For the users, it’s fast and simple. For finance teams, it provides the correct data needed for effective expense management.
With confirmed accuracy, this method of mileage tracking removes the ability for claimants to ‘round-up’ the distances travelled. In turn, this eliminates one of the most commonplace forms of expense fraud.
Automatic mileage verification reduces administration time
This automated approach to mileage tracking also significantly reduces the time it takes to process a claim, for both claimant and the finance team. For the claimant, it takes seconds to submit information which is instantly accessible to an account manager.
Having the information in a data format makes for much easier mileage verification. The exact time and location of a journey can be instantly accessed with accurate distances, removing the need for manual calculations.
A system such as Webexpenses will automatically apply the correct mileage rates for different jurisdictions. It will also work out any tax implications - liabilities or potential rebates.
Improve your expense policy compliance
Inaccurate and fraudulent mileage claims are a significant compliance risk when information is being submitted to an external authority. This is a particular danger when tax authorities are auditing a company’s finances.
Inaccurate and incomplete mileage expense data will serve as a ‘red flag’. Conversely, access to accurate data helps to provide a reassuring level of information that everything is being properly monitored.
A real-time expense management solution can also provide real-time compliance notifications to claimants. On-screen messages and confirmation checks make sure that claimants know the policy requirements.
Improve management visibility of expense spend
Digital mileage tracking allows costs to be viewed in much more depth than is possible using a traditional approach. It allows the finance team to spot patterns and trends; to identify mileage spikes and hotspots.
Webexpenses Expense Management app features integrated reporting tools for all the information to be accessed and manipulated. Finance teams can also set up automated alerts so that any claim that’s above a set limit is flagged for closer inspection.
It’s a scalable way to maintain proper oversight of mileage costs across a business. Traditionally, this is something that’s prohibitively difficult to do when information is collated by hand.
In summary, the move to digital mileage tracking removes one of the most difficult areas of expense management to get right. It’s a faster, simpler way of working which produces the kind of accurate data that finance professionals need for effective management.