SME employees fed up with managing expenses

Date: 16 October 2018

SME employees fed up with managing expenses

The burden of paying for business expenses and claiming them back is taking its toll on staff in small businesses, according to a new report.

Censuswide surveyed over 1,000 workers in SMEs on behalf of Allstar Business Solutions. It found that more than half of respondents (57%) said they had experienced financial difficulties as a result of paying for expenses out of their own pocket.

Of those who have paid out for on the road expenses on behalf of their employer, 59% are between £50 and £200 out of pocket per month. For a worker on the average UK salary of £29,009 a year, this works out as between 8% and 30% of their disposable income each month.

When asked what they found most annoying about travelling for business, almost a third (31%) of workers said that it was having to use their own money to pay for expenses. The survey found that 43% of respondents used their own bank card to pay for expenses, with fuel and parking fees as the biggest costs on the tab (69% and 37% respectively).

The figures also reveal that one in ten (11%) employees never claim back all their expenses. More than a third (35%) put it down to struggling to keep hold of paper receipts and a further 44% said that the process of collecting, keeping and submitting the receipts was a cause of frustration for them.

Other key findings include:

  • 62% of employees said they want their bosses to take more responsibility for paying expenses before or during their trip;
  • 26% of employees have looked at changing their job as a result of an employers' expenses procedure.

"Employees have clearly been carrying the burden of work expenses while on the road for business - this is unnecessarily souring the relationship between employee and employer," said Thore Vestergaard, md, commercial cards, Fleetcor.

"More than a third of the employees we quizzed called for a single card to pay for all expenses, to make their business travel easier. As such, the need for a payments solution to resolve the exasperation over expenses has never been more evident."

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