Almost one in thirty small and medium enterprise (SME) employees in the UK have falsely claimed expenses, according to research commissioned by fuelGenie. Worryingly, the research found that workers in the finance sector are the most likely to lie about their expenses, with nearly one in five (18.2%) admitting to having falsely claimed expenses. This means that for a financial SME with 200 staff, around 36 employees could be dishonestly submitting expenses.
Younger employees, in the 16-24 year-old age bracket, are also the worst offenders when it comes to lying about their expenses, with 8.3% having falsely claimed an expense. Older employees (45-54 yr olds) are the most honest – 98.2% submit honest claims.
At a time when business profits are under immense pressure, small businesses need to have robust expense practices in place – failure to do so will have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line. Sarah Keane at fuelGenie said: “The fact that UK SME employers are allowing any employees to falsely claim expenses is astounding given the current economic situation. SME owners need to clamp down on staff dishonesty – their number one objective right now should be to control costs and conserve cash to prevent profits being further eroded – false expense claims undermine this goal.”
The research, commissioned by fuelGenie and undertaken by Opinion Matters, was carried out amongst 549 adults who work in UK micro and SMEs and who are able to claim expenses.
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