25% of employees admit to false expense claims

A quarter of UK employees admit to bending the rules when making an expenses claim at work, and one in five say they feel no guilt at potentially claiming back more than they are entitled to from their employers, research by Webexpenses shows

A survey of 1,000 UK office workers revealed that a quarter of respondents agreed the longer they stayed with a company, the more likely they are to bend the rules

The research suggests men (28%) are more likely to make false or exaggerated claims, with 28% of those surveyed confessing to breaking the rules, compared to women (22%). Younger employees were the group most often tempted, with one in three of under 24-year olds admitting to having bent the rules at some point. The survey identified those working in the arts and culture sector as the worst culprits (72%), compared to just 7% of those working in the legal sector.

Michael Richards, chairman of Webexpenses, said the survey findings suggested the levels of financial loss involved could be higher than the research indicated, given the complacent attitude towards expenses claims shown by some companies and employees.

‘Not only have a quarter admitted to bending the rules, but 70% of our respondents also stated that their expenses claims have never been queried or rejected by their employer. Although this does not necessarily suggest that a high proportion of expense claims are being exaggerated, it does however show that some false claims could still be slipping under the radar unchecked,’ Richards said.

Pat Sweet |Reporter, Accountancy Daily [2010-2021]

Pat Sweet was the former online reporter at Accountancy Daily and contributor to the monthly Accountancy magazine, pub...

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