Varun Rathi
By: Varun Rathi
Published on: February 24, 2021

5 Crores 48 lacs and 10 thousand!! – that’s the amount we reimbursed against fraudulent bills in 2019”, said Mr Ashish Kabra*, CFO of one of the largest automobile companies. 

Mr Kabra had commissioned an external audit on 3,15,000 bills, which were submitted by the 5000+ employees of the company in the last year. The results of the audit were an eye-opener.

Picture: [Left]Finance team is manually checking 1000s of bills to verify expense claims. [Right] Employee is sure that his duplicate bill will not be caught.

Digging deeper, following were the top 3 types of fraudulent expenses:

  1. Duplicate Bills
  2. Incorrect amounts [not matching the bills]
  3. Restricted Items [like alcohol]

All these combined accounted for 18% of the total expense reimbursements [INR 37.8Crores] and that summed up to INR 5.48 Crores

We will be analysing each of these categories one by one and showcase:


  1. Duplicate Bills – accounted for 6% of total expenses
  • Same bill was expensed by an employee multiple times.
  • Same bill expensed by 2 different employees 

This amounted to INR 22,680,000, and across 18,900 bills, 850 employees.

‘I am shocked~~’

Our finance team receives 4.5k-5k expense reports with 30k-35k bills every month. It’s not even humanly possible to check and match so many bills manually without errors. We definitely need some digital AI enabled solution which automatically or should i say magically weed out these DUPLICATE expense bills.

I met Mr Kabra in February 2020, when the above discussion took place. I got my team to showcase the end to end Expense Management solution with AI enabled features, especially Duplicate Checker. He was immediately interested, but slightly skeptical on the extent of automation which Happay can bring in. Both the teams started working together and implemented Happay for all 5000 employees across 12 locations. This was achieved remotely. The implementation was slightly delayed due to COVID. It kick started in May 2020 and we went live  in July 2020 with the customer. 

Although business travel was not yet back due to COVID, employee expenses had started picking up and were back to 40% of peak in July and have reached 70% of peak in January 2021 for the customer. These expenses are majorly for Local travel, DA, mobile and internet, furniture, food, lodging, online subscriptions for tools etc. 

We had implemented Happay’s Duplicate Checker module too and showcased some startling results to Mr Kabra last week.

Here’s a screen representing the same.

What took an army of external auditors to find out was available at the click of a button. He was pleasantly surprised.

If you also find this use of technology interesting, you can see it in action here: 

We will continue to analyse and show the solutions to the next 2 types of fraudulent expenses in the next blog. Stay tuned!

*Name has been changed at the customer’s request for anonymity.

Varun Rathi
Co-Founder at Happay
Varun Rathi, Co-founder and COO of Happay, is responsible for Sales, Marketing and Operations. Varun is obsessed with creating awesome user experiences and makes sure nothing is ever compromised on that front. He is using them with full gusto to make Happay the most preferred spend management partner.

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