UK Public Sector Tougher on Expense Exaggerating Than Private Sector

  UK Public Sector Tougher on Expense Exaggerating Than Private Sector

  Study finds that one in ten UK employees exaggerated their own expenses in

Business Wire

LONDON -- February 7, 2013

A recent survey of over 1,200 UK workers commissioned by Concur, a leading
provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions, whose expense
management, audit and compliance services are used by thousands of companies
across the globe, has revealed that public sector workers have a much stricter
attitude towards expense exaggerating than their private sector counterparts.

The data shows that while just 13 per cent of workers in public sector
organisations were willing to condone expense exaggeration, over twice as many
workers in very large private companies (over 750 employees) judged expense
exaggerating ‘acceptable’ (28 per cent). Highlighting the need for
organisations of all types to take a harder look at their expense reporting
processes, just over one in ten of those surveyed admitted to actually
exaggerating an expense claim within the past year.

David Vine, Managing Director, UK SMB, Concur comments: “In recent years, the
public sector has faced significant publicised scrutiny over the accuracy of
expense claims, resulting in a mandate for increased transparency. As such,
we’ve witnessed a reduction in those in the public sector who think
exaggerating expenses is acceptable (14% in 2011 compared to 13% in 2012). In
a tough economy with little spare cash, it’s imperative that attitudes within
the private sector towards expenses quickly follows suit.”

The study also shows that more than one in ten (11%) UK workers claiming
expenses in the last year had exaggerated them, either rarely or more often.
Of those that admitted exaggerating a claim, over two thirds (68 per cent)
cited their reason was ‘to make up for the times when I forgot’. Almost a
third (32 per cent) blamed their decision to exaggerate a claim on the fact
that ‘money is tight’, suggesting the tough economic situation is taking its
toll on the UK workforce.

Only 7 per cent of those surveyed who claimed expenses over the past year had
an expense claim queried or rejected for being out of policy or lacking proper
receipt documentation, suggesting large numbers of inflated reports could be
slipping through the UK’s books. Moreover, when asked which best describes how
they usually submit their claims in their current job, just under half (41 per
cent) still rely on a manual paper-based system, and around a quarter (26 per
cent) put their faith in a simple spread sheet. Only 27 per cent use an
automated system to manage the expense submission process.

David Vine continues: “Our data suggests that over one in ten employees are
exaggerating their expenses and the reliance on manual-based expense
management processes exacerbates the problem, as it exposes businesses to
unnecessary revenue leakage due to the lack of checks and balances in the
system. Expense automation can reduce expense processing costs by up to 50 to
60 per cent and can increase travel policy compliance by up to 30 to 50 per

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Executive Summary


Notes for editors

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size
was 2,054 adults, of whom 1,229 were working part time or full time. Fieldwork
was undertaken between 4th - 6th December 2012. The survey was carried out
online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults
(aged 18+).

About Concur

Concur is a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management
solutions. Concur’s easy-to-use Web-based and mobile solutions help companies
and their employees control costs and save time. Concur Connect is the
platform that enables the entire travel and expense ecosystem of customers,
suppliers, and developers to access and extend Concur’s T&E cloud. Concur’s
systems adapt to individual employee preferences and scale to meet the needs
of companies from small to large. Learn more at  or the
Concur blog.

^1 A Travel and Expense Management Guide for UK Businesses, Aberdeen Group,
November 2012


Weber Shandwick for Concur
Alexia Da Silva,
T: +44 207 067 0639
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