Expenses firm says fifth of employees falsify claims

Expenses firm says fifth of employees falsify claims

Image via Shutterstock

One in five employees fiddle their expenses, a survey of 1,235 UK-based white-collar workers reveals.

They do this by exaggerating their expense claims, although usually by modest amounts.

When claiming for private car mileage, 21% round up the distance by one or two miles, while another 3% round up to the nearest five or ten miles. However, 71% record the accurate mileage and 5% even say they round down.

Respondents were also asked how they treat blank receipts given to them by taxi drivers.

A majority (78%) say they claim the right amount, while 16% add a small amount, 5% add a couple of pounds and 1% double the amount or more.

The findings come from a poll by travel and expense management company KDS, which found that that only 42% submit their claims through an automated expense management tool.

Some 48% enter their expenses into an offline spreadsheet such as Microsoft Excel, while 4% still use handwritten forms. Another 4% say their company outsources expense management and 2% either incur no expenses or never claim on them.

With the survey suggesting 88% of employees complete their expenses during company time, inefficient claims processes cost their employers time and money, KDS says.

Analysis of companies with more than 500 employees shows the expense process is faster for those who use automated tools. Among this group, 63% take less than 30 minutes to file claims and 34% receive reimbursement within seven days. In comparison, only 51% using spreadsheets file claims in less than 30 minutes and only 17% are reimbursed within seven days.

More than a quarter (26%) of employees at companies with a 10,000-plus workforce still use spreadsheets for expenses, and figure rises to 66% at companies with a workforce of 101-500.

Dean Forbes, chief executive of KDS, said: “Online expense management tools have been making businesses more efficient for the best part of two decades, yet it would appear that most employers still expect employees to fill in old-fashioned spreadsheets or even write out their claims with a pen.

“The results show that users of automated expense management tools divert less of their work time to getting their expenses done and also get their money back faster.

“Employers that switch from manual claims processing to the use of automated tools benefit through reduced errors, better fiscal compliance, improved VAT reclaims and a fast approval workflow system for line managers.”

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience. Learn more