Wrongly approved expense claims cost UK business £2bn

Wrongly approved staff expense claims are costing UK businesses an estimated £2bn according to research conducted by GlobalExpense.

The 2009 GlobalExpense Employee Expenses Benchmark Report, highlighted that 11% of all claims should not be approved by managers because the items purchased are not covered by company policy.

In addition the report estimated that staff fiddle their expense claims to the tune of around £1.08bn.

In 2008 employees tried to get their employers to foot the bill for a number of outlandish expense claims outside company policy, including handcuffs, a bribe to border guards to get out of Iraq, renewing a passport and buying condoms.

David Vine, GlobalExpense managing director, said: “The number one objective for most businesses right now is to control costs and conserve cash to prevent profits being further eroded.

“Employee expense payments come out of a company’s bottom line and directly affect cash flow. Many companies may believe they have cut spending on employee by changing policy, but the reality is that out of policy claims are routinely approved for payment.”

The research is based on 4.8 million expense claims from more than 150,000 employees during 2007/8.