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£3.5 billion worth of expenses go unreimbursed in the UK each year because of current expense policies

£3.5 billion worth of expenses go unreimbursed in the UK each year because of current expense policies

New independent research from Expend also shows collectively over 270,770 years of business working days are spent each year by UK employees filing company expenses

Recent independent research of UK employees commissioned by expense management software company Expend has highlighted £3.5 billion of all expenses go unreimbursed each year because of current expense policies.

Furthermore, over 270,770 years of collective business working days are spent each year filing company expenses. Expend’s independent research, which was commissioned in conjunction with OnePoll, showed the scale of this impact on businesses and full time employees in different sectors and regions across the country.

At a national level, the average amount of ‘out of pocket’ expenses people claim in their current job is £843.24 every year, which amounts to £27.3 billion across the whole UK workforce. Of this, £109 goes unexpensed each year on average which amounts to UK employees not claiming over £3.5 billion.

The most common reasons for expenses going unreimbursed are:

  1. Losing the receipt (46%)
  2. Missing the deadline (33%)
  3. The expense did not comply with policy (30%)
  4. Entering the wrong description by mistake (15%)
  5. There was a mistake on the part of the finance department or accountant (11%)

Looking at results by sector, the profession where most employees claim back expenses is the charity and voluntary sector where 82% claim expenses on a monthly basis. The industry with the highest average amount of expense claims each monthly is hospitality and events management at £145.50 per month. Hospitality and management also spends the most time collating receipts and filing expenses out of all sectors, spending 3.78 hours, or nearly half a working day, every month just on expenses admin.

Johnny Vowles, CEO of Expend said, “This research shows that business expenses aren’t just a pain for employees, but they can have a significant effect on the operational efficiency of the organisations they work for. Employees manually filling out expense forms and financial teams chasing individuals for expense submissions are drains to valuable time that can be better focused on the core business. In addition, the average amount unexpensed each month might sound good to the business owner, but if all those receipts are found and claimed for in one go that can represent a significant financial hit to company cashflow.”

To download a copy of the full ‘Expenses Economy Report’, please visit:

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