Expense claims cost business dear

As many as
2.5 million employees in the UK believe it is acceptable to exaggerate their
expense claims at work, according to research for accounting systems provider
Cevas Data Systems.

The
research, carried out by Gallup, estimates that of the 10 million employees who
claim expenses, 25 per cent think that it is acceptable to inflate claims some
or all of the time.

Ashley
Whittaker, chief executive of Cevas Data Systems, said, “Clearly expense fraud
is too easy to commit. The fact that a quarter of those who claim expenses
think that exaggerating their figures is acceptable is quite disturbing.”

Over 27
per cent of the 2,100 employees surveyed believe that colleagues sometimes
inflate  expense claims, but only 4 per
cent think that fellow staff claim too much all of the time.

Whittaker
believes that at least £230m is claimed in inflated expenses in the UK each
year.

The survey
also shows that while 39 per cent of those who inflate their expenses only do
so by up to 10 per cent, nearly 8 per cent would be happy to exaggerate by at
least 50 per cent. Furthermore, the younger the claimant the more likely they
are to believe that the practice is acceptable.

Whittaker
said, “British industry must tighten up its procedures to prevent such a loss
revenue and a negative culture of petty theft in the workplace.”

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