Although nearly 33 percent of UK workers believe politicians to be the worst offenders for filing false expense claims, the majority of those workers are doing it themselves. Research reported by Personnel Today found 85 percent of UK employees fessed up to submitting at least one deceptive expense claim over the past 12 months.
What’s more, 5 percent admitted to fudging their claim amounts every time they submit a report. And 10 percent said they had thought about submitting a falsified expense claim but had never actually done so.
How Much They Over-Claim
The range of falsified claim amounts runs the gamut from lunch money to enough cash to cover lunch, dinner and a stay at a hotel. Over the past year:
- 25 percent: Admit to claiming an amount more than $385
- 22 percent: Admit to claiming an amount between $77 and $154
- 20 percent: Admit to claiming an amount between $15 and $77
Why They Over-Claim
Reasons for falsifying expense reports also cover a wide scope. They include:
- 22 percent: Believe everybody else in the company does it, and they should do the same
- 17 percent: Believe they’re not being paid enough and the company owes them more money
- 12 percent: Did it because it was so simple to get away with it
Who’s Doing It
The biggest money is being over-claimed by the more mature workers, with falsified claims of more than $770 being submitted by:
- 26 percent: workers aged 45 to 54
- 25 percent: workers 55 and older
Stretching the truth on expense reports, however, isn’t totally guilt-free. When questioned about how they’d feel if they were caught submitting overblown claims, 41 percent said they’d be embarrassed and 38 percent said they’d be worried about receiving a warning or losing their jobs. Others would take advantage of the situation, with 11 percent saying they’d use the opportunity to air work-related grievances.
Common examples of falsified expense claims include taking a taxi instead of public transportation, workers buying themselves something to eat on the way back from a client appointment, and taking pals out for lunch or dinner and then claiming it on their expense reports.
Minimizing false expense claims can save notable amounts of money, even if only a small group of workers are at fault. Those who file fraudulent claims tend to encourage others to follow suit, easily transforming a small group into a large one.
Reduce fraudulent employee expense claims with Chrome River’s expense report software.
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Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care.
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic.