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A quarter of office workers have their business expenses disputed

27 April 2022

Story by
Alex Crowther, Senior Reporter, The HR World

Office workers have their business expenses disputed

Almost a quarter of office workers regularly have their business expenses disputed or are asked to provide further clarification upon submitting them, a new survey has revealed.

The Inconvenient Expenses study, from Just Eat for Business, surveyed the nation’s office workers to discover how their organisation handles expenses, what the reimbursement schedule is like, and what workers wish they could improve about the process.

The survey found that among one of the biggest annoyances for 23% of workers was that their expenses are often called into question, causing delays in reimbursement.

On top of this, some workers are asked to spontaneously cover expenses, with 15% of respondents stating that this has occurred to them at a work event.

Furthermore, 14% of surveyed workers said they’d intentionally avoided covering an expense on their own card.

For some, this may be due to the difficulty of keeping track of the documentation required to clarify an expense – given that two fifths of workers admit to losing an expense receipt.

And while almost a quarter have had to justify their expenses, some have had their requests refused entirely, with 8% having their submission rejected, denied or ignored.

This inevitably poses a concern for employees who are money-conscious; especially given that the survey found rising petrol and diesel costs account for a fifth of all expenses (21%).

With many of us dealing with the stress of the rising cost of living and trying to navigate a return to the office, it’s crucial that employers look to streamline their expense processing procedures, in order to retain employees and reduce time spent on unnecessary admin.

Although expense admin isn’t a major part of the majority of workers’ weekly tasks, a third of workers find the task to be annoying, while 28% wish it wasn’t their responsibility.

Lucy Cantan, Sales and Partnership Director at Just Eat for Business, weighs in on the polls: “Completing and processing admin for expenditures such as lunch or work dinners can be time consuming for all involved – whether you’re an employer or employee.

However, it’s really important that everyone receives what they’re owed and continues to benefit from paid-for meals and travel costs.”

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