How to Combat Purchase Card Fraud in 5 Simple Steps

Author: Peter Goldmann - CFE
1. Unusual Purchases
In order to control purchases made with a Purchase Card or P-card, establish a detailed policy with regard to use of company P-cards, train all employees with newly issued P-cards and limit purchases to approved merchants. Make it clear to all employees that if they are found to have committed fraud, their card will be canceled and they will be subject to disciplinary action may be prosecuted for criminal activity.
2. Forged Receipts
If an employee produces photocopied receipts instead of originals with expense reports do not accept. Request employees to ask merchants for a detailed receipt if one is not provided, ask the cardholders to provide a detailed business purpose for each transaction.
3. Split Payments
In case of suspected split payments by an employee, request the cardholders to review and sign the monthly card statements —if those statements are sent to them rather than to your organization and also request them to produce itemized receipts for all purchases, even if the merchandise was subsequently returned to the vendor.
4. Drift in Purchases
Under circumstances where you find sudden unusual drift in a particular employee's monthly P-Card purchases, the manager in charge of approving and signing employee P-card reimbursement claims or expense reports must carefully review all documentation, prior to signing it. It is also the duty of the managers to review any transactions identified by AP staff as unusual.
5. Unusual Transactions
In order to curb unusual transactions by an employee, an organization must determine whether controls and procedures over purchase and payment for goods and services using purchase cards were adequate to ensure that vendor payments were made according to the policy. Always determine if all P-cards are issued in accordance with the Policy, verify if changes to existing cards are properly monitored and approved and all cards in circulation are accounted for and used by authorized employees.

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