These are the findings of research, being released by IHG, which has found that employees in the region are typically spending just over half an hour a month (27 minutes) of company time compiling receipts and forms, with 40% finding it a time-consuming and laborious process.
It’s not just businesses who suffer. Workers across London could be losing out on over £4,000 over the course of their working lives due to complicated expense forms. This is because around one in five (22%) people don’t think they claim back every penny they spend each month, while one in four (25%) admit they have not claimed an expense in the past because the amount seemed so small.
Alarmingly, the amount individuals lose could be even higher, as one in four (24%) say they have overdrawn at the bank, or incurred credit card charges because they have had to pay for company expenses from their own personal bank account. The average worker in London has had to put £349.05 to cover company expenses on their personal credit card, while £16.30 is the amount workers from London are prepared to spend per month without expensing (the national average is £14.98).
As well as being costly, handling expenses on behalf of the company can be very stressful for employees, with 34% confessing to worrying about not having enough money to make it to the end of the month when waiting for expenses to go through. Almost half (42%) say they are annoyed by the fact that their employer expects them to spend their own money on company expenses. Embarrassingly, 27% also admitted that whilst away on a work trip they have been put in the position of worrying that they didn’t have enough money in their personal account to cover a bill they’ve had to fork out for.
Matt Luscombe, Chief Commercial Officer & SVP Franchise Operations, IHG Europe, says 'Employee expenses are a necessary function of any business but claiming them back is a practice that has barely evolved. There are more avenues to spend than ever before and numerous methods of receipt, so it’s no surprise that hours of unnecessary work time is being wasted as employees look for lost receipts and try to work out when and what a receipt was for. Our research reveals the vast extent of this problem – both to businesses and workers – and why it is so important that there is a better way to manage the process for all'.