A quarter of UK employees have made a false expense claims according to new research, meaning many have potentially claimed back more than they are entitled to.
Of those who did so, a fifth said they felt no remorse about doing so, highlighting the need for business bosses to carefully manage the way expenses are dealt with.
A quarter of respondents in the survey, commissioned by webexpenses, added that the length of time spent working at a specific company would also impact on whether people break the rules – saying those which are there for longer are more likely to do so.
Certain groups more likely to falsely claim
There was also a difference between the sexes when it came to making false claims, with 28% of men and 22% of women admitting to the practice.
People aged between 16 and 24 were also the worst offending age group, with a third of them saying they had falsely claimed at some point in time.
It is not all bad news for employers though, as 70% of people said their claims had been queried or rejected – showing that bosses are managing the finances responsibly.
Expenses policies can be exploited, depending on how they are organised and set up, so it is up to business leaders to find suitable solutions.
Some 50% of respondents to the survey said that their company didn’t use computer systems, so it is possible for some exaggerated claims to slip through the net.
More than 40% of workers claim expenses for breakfast when attending early meetings and 42% say they claim mileage to their home rather than office.
Considering a prepaid expenses management option
Instead of managing paper receipts, one alternative method could be to use a prepaid expenses card, which would be managed and funded by the company.
It could be topped up a certain amount initially and then the worker would be able to use the card to cover purchases while out and about.
Since the cards carry no credit facility, they would be limited to the funds on the card, meaning expenses would not be exploited.
A company would also be able to track spending on the card to ensure that it was being used for the right purposes.
Essentially, using a computer system and prepaid card would make managing business expenses a simpler and less time-consuming process, while also reducing the risk of exaggerated claims.