Padding Expense Reports

Dr. Joseph T. Wells, CFE, CPA, founder of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, recently wrote an article in the Journal of Accountancy addressing expense account abuses at companies.

According to Wells, employees who overreport on expense reports use one of these methods:

  • Produce legitimate documentation for nonbusiness-related expenditures
  • Inflate the amount of actual expenses
  • Submit phony documentation for reimbursement
  • Copy receipts and resubmit them for duplicate payment

Wells says there are many ways to help prevent expense report abuse, including the following:

  • Implement tighter internal controls
  • Review reimbursement policy to ensure it contains reasonable reimbursements and is not too restrictive
  • Inspect documentation and, if necessary, ask for original receipts


Todd has more than 20 years of experience providing client solutions in consulting, accounting and tax matters. He has performed business valuations for a variety of purposes, including gift and estate tax, business planning, succession planning and for solvency purposes in bankruptcy. Todd is experienced in providing expert testimony, and his assistance with litigation matters includes reconstruction of financial records, tracing of transactions, damages analysis and valuations related to shareholder disputes and solvency analysis in bankruptcy and for marital dissolution.

Todd Burchett – who has written posts on BKD Forensics.

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