New research shows that the majority of employees have lied on an expense report, yet only a fraction of them actually feel guilty about it.
That’s according to a survey conducted by expense management software service firm webexpenses, which commissioned the research in the U.K. A survey of more than 1,000 workers in the country found that 85 percent admitted to lying on an expense report in an effort to get reimbursed with more money.
Researchers found that 5 percent of employees that have made such an admission also revealed that they falsify information on every one of their expense reports.
In assessing the findings, webexpenses found that more than $150 million is spent by businesses every year on employees overcharging for their expense report reimbursements.
And while businesses report exerting effort on reviewing expense reports that are submitted, researchers found that many businesses are still using paper-based expense management methods. The survey found that 82 percent of employees that have lied on an expense report have never been caught by their employers.
Nearly two-thirds of employees said they did not feel guilty for misstating information on their expense reports; 17 percent cited making up for low wages as a reason for seeking more money from a reimbursement, according to reports.
About 10 percent of employees have also admitted to considering filing a fraudulent claim, though did not go through with it.
Gasoline was cited as the most common category in which employees overstate their charges, followed by food and drink and then transportation. On average, employees exaggerated their spending by more than $38 for each report filed.
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“Companies have grudgingly tolerated a certain level of expenses ‘fiddling,’” webexpenses said on its company blog. “By failing to tackle this problem, it had created a toxic business environment in which expenses fraud has become normalized and legitimized.”