If you are familiar with our e-book, Fraud: The Most Overlooked Opportunity, you are aware that 360 Incentives has put a lot of energy into researching opportunities to help our clients improve the efficiency of their incentive spend. A massive opportunity in most companies is in the area of fraudulent claim reduction and the e-book shares some great ways to reduce fraud in sales incentives.
In the e-book, we broadly discuss various methods for cutting back on the amount of fraudulent claims you pay out on, but in this post we are going to focus on how to leverage invoice capturing as a powerful weapon in this ongoing battle.
A Copy Of The Invoice Is A Good Start…
Many companies currently do not require their submitted claims to include a copy of the original store invoice. The store invoice is an extremely valuable piece to help with fraud detection. So valuable, in fact, that we actually think it is best to capture and index all data off all invoices from all transactions. Recognizing that some folks might only be working within the confines of a random audit process, let’s have a look at which data is the most helpful if you have a need to keep it a bit simpler.
Keep An Eye On The Sequence
Store invoice numbers can actually be indexed in a variety of simple ways, even using the basic spreadsheet software you may already have on your computer. Keep an eye on these and sort them according to their alphanumeric order. Invoices that vary from the store’s format of assigning ordering codes or invoice numbers that appear out of sequence with the rest of the claimed invoices being submitted are reason enough to flag a claim for an audit or least some degree of further investigation.
Customer Zip Code/Postal Code
Does the store capture the mailing address data of its customers when they do their invoicing? If so, it is worth having a look at the customer’s zip/postal code when viewing claims. Does the customer live reasonably close to the store submitting the claim? Is it reasonable to assume that someone purchasing the item(s) on the invoice would be doing so from a store that is located this distance from their home? Obviously, life happens and sometimes people do end up doing business with retailers who seem curiously far from their home but it is certainly worth having a closer look at these transactions.
And The Trophy For Data Captured Goes To…
The MVP of fraud detection is definitely the product serial number. Again, these can be indexed and sorted using fairly basic means, and capturing the serial number of each piece sold delivers a very clear and powerful benefit: duplicate serial numbers on the same product line are nearly impossible and should raise a massive red flag to whomever is auditing your claims.
‘What Gets Measured Gets Managed’ – Peter Drucker
Everything you need to know is in the numbers and if something is being hidden, it will usually be revealed once you know what to look for. If you are currently using a system of random audits, try incorporating the above tracking methods; it should remove some of the ‘randomness’ from the claims you actually choose to use your time and resources to investigate.
Jason is the Content and Community guy at 360Incentives.com Connect with Jason on Twitter @JayKing71, LinkedIn or Google+ 360 is changing the world of incentives. To find out how, book a call with us now!