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Travel & Expense

How Much is Business Expense Fraud Costing Your Business?

on June 07, 2016

A recent survey of 1,000 business travelers revealed that business travel fraud is costing businesses up to 2.8 billion per year. 

Yes, that’s billion with a “B.”

Other interesting findings from the survey of business travelers include:

  • 94.7% say their expense reports are done honestly, 5.3% admit to expense fraud
  • Average expense fraud per bad apple is ~$2500
  • 73% of fraudsters were male
  • Only 1 in six were caught


The biggest culprit? Employees expensing personal purchases as legitimate business. It happens all the time and more often than companies think. After all, you can’t be with your employees every time they swipe, so how are you to know what’s done innocently and what could be costing your company part of that 2.8 billion pie?

Our annual Spend Analysis Report reveals similar statistics:

  • It’s just 10% of travelers that are responsible for nearly all suspicious (potentially fraudulent) spending
  • Duplicate transactions in our study alone totaled $3.1 million in uncaught expenses
  • 35% of travelers had at least one flagged transaction on their expense report 

We don’t mean to share these statistics to scare you, but all of that money wasted at your company’s expense can be a frightening thing. Especially when business expense fraud is more preventable than ever before thanks to advancements in technology with platforms like Oversight Insights On Demand™.

Our software works by using the parameters you set to scan all of your expense reports for transactions that may be outside your company policy (transactions made on the weekend, or high-risk MCC codes like gentleman’s clubs for example.) We then flag these expenses for you to review. Best of all, our software gets smarter over time, and the more you use it the more efficient our technology gets at finding those “needles in a haystack.”

When run on a monthly basis, we’ve seen our technology reduce instances of business expense fraud by two-thirds and our technology only costs a fraction of what you’ll get back by monitoring your operational expenses for fraud and leaks.

Do you know how much business expense fraud is costing your organization? Based on the two surveys above, we’re willing to bet it’s more than you realize.

Click here to take a free test drive of Oversight Insights On Demand™.

Lauren Bowling

Lauren Bowling works for Oversight and contributes to the Oversight Blog.