February 18th, 2015 / Insight posted in

Are your employees fiddling their expenses?

By Adam Flight

Have you ever made an exaggerated claim for expenses? Have you ever tackled an employee on an expense claim that seems a little on the high side?
According to a new study, a quarter of employees confess to making false expense claims at work, with one in five of them reporting that they  felt no guilt about their actions and one in four agreeing with the statement: “The longer you stay with a company, the more likely you are to bend the rules.” Men are apparently worse offenders than women, with 28% confessing they had made false or exaggerated claims compared to 22% of women. Expense claims for meals/drinks at meetings and travel expenses were some of the most common items people admitted to lying about. In addition, more than 40% said they would claim for the mileage to a client meeting and then back to their home rather than their company’s offices if it meant being able to claim more money. Would you be surprised to hear that in the report, 70% said their expenses claims had never been queried or rejected by their manager? Do you check the expenses you are signing off or just see it as a tick box exercise? If line managers, HR or Finance do not query expense claims then you could leave the door open to other employees following suit if it becomes a known norm within a business. In a time when companies are looking at making cost savings, this is an area all businesses should be reviewing in order to save money before looking at a reduction in their staffing numbers. As a result, the savings made by having both a zero tolerance to false claims and a clear expenses policy as to what can and can not be claimed for, could save a company thousands of pounds in the long term, it could even save an employee’s job from being cut.