Proof for Freakonomics’ Bagel King

I blogged some time ago about the usefulness of Leavitt’s book for the salesman, and raved about it being a sterling read.  I was in a meeting (in groovy offices near London’s Butler’s Wharf) pitching to a decent chap called Sanjay that’d set up his own business six years ago.  They were in the field of expenses claiming software, and theirs is uniquely an on-demand solution, even allowing text messages (and photos of receipts from mobile phones soon) to rapidly slash both form filling-in and repayment hassles.

He was talking about the 12 different benefits his system could yield.  One was that overall expense bills tended to drop.  He reckoned anywhere between 10 to 15%.  The reason being that this was the figure of spurious claims that no longer got submitted with such a simple, yet sophisticated system.

And the figure amazed me.  For it was exactly around the ball-park that the Washington guy in America came up with, as recorded in Freakonomics; he reckoned, worked out from many years of data, how honest white-collar people were, as he’d leave his bagels in the morning, with a small basket for the payment, so people could in theory, not pay.

So, there you have it, conclusive proof roughly 1 in 6 of us are clearly crims!  Is there any hope…?!

And it got me thinking about any expense-claim scams I’d come across.  From when I first started in sales, software existed that told you how long your car journey was, so fiddling petrol hasn’t come onto my radar.  And the only other area with scope I guess is with ‘entertainment’, but unless you completely make up a customer jolly, that surely only gives minor scope as well. Funnily enough, I learned the other day that one of the largest data firms in the world, Thomson, have a policy that all entertainment requires the names of those treated to be documented on each receipt!

If you know of any sharp-practice, then please let me know, as I could do with feeling better about what to be on the look out for when I approve claims!

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