The survey found that of those who have inflated their expenses, the majority (just over half) say it’s by £10 a month, 13% say it’s between £11 and £20, 10% say it’s between £21 and £50, and 4% of dastardly employees say they exaggerate their claims by between £51 and £100 a month. It’s not all spent on duck islands and moat clearing, admittedly: a fifth say they tend to exaggerate their mileage claims, while 12% say they lie about the amount they’ve spent on meals during work trips, and 5% say they claim extra on taxi fares. No mention of second home-flipping, though.
Younger staff are the most likely to think it’s acceptable to fiddle their expenses, with 33% of 18-24-year-olds admitting to it (although they’re also more likely to earn the lowest wages – so it kind of figures), while over-55s are least likely to. This time, though, we can't blame MPs. Or even bankers. The survey found that 14% of people are more likely to fiddle their expenses if they see reports about their bosses doing the same thing in the media. And a third reckon that their bosses ‘definitely or probably’ exaggerate their own claims. If this perception exists – however accurate it may be – it clearly makes it harder to stop employees doing it too.
Now admittedly, it’s in GlobalExpense’s interests to bemoan expense-fiddling by employees – and a quarter is a relatively small proportion compared to what was going on at Westminster (or so we are led to believe). But the survey also suggested that businesses aren’t reviewing claims stringently enough: a mere 16% of workers have had their claims queried by their employer, while just 6% have had claims rejected. That's a bit surprising, given that many firms are still struggling to rebuild their finances after the recession. So the answer may be to start taking a much more critical look at your staff expense claims. Get that right, and you might not have to engage the services of a leading expenses management company. Simples