British workers who incur expenses are collectively losing out on £962 million by failing to submit all of their claims, according to a Barclaycard report. In the last year alone, the average value of unclaimed expenses totalled £123 per person among those that have failed to submit their expenses. To mark the 50th anniversary of Barclaycard launching the UK’s first corporate credit card, a new poll of employees who incur expenses reveals that 48 per cent are still using personal funds to cover business costs.
Almost six in ten (59 per cent) have failed to file their expenses, with over a third (37 per cent) citing the value being ‘too low to be worth the hassle’ and lost receipts (33 per cent) as the top reasons for not claiming money they are owed.
In the 50 years since Barclaycard launched the first credit card in the name of a business rather than an individual, it seems British expensing habits have changed significantly. Today’s workers are claiming an average of £907 a year – less than half the value that those in the ‘Mad Men’ heyday of the 1960s and 1970s regularly claimed (£2,335 and £1,854 in today’s equivalent money, respectively).
Despite the five decades that have passed, however, less than one in five (16 per cent) respondents have access to a corporate card – so it’s perhaps unsurprising that half (49 per cent) are frustrated by having to pay for business expenses from their own funds and then waiting to be reimbursed. 37 per cent have faced cash flow issues by paying expenses out of their own pocket, and almost one in ten (8 per cent) has even missed a payment on a personal credit card while waiting to be paid back.
It’s all fair game
Of those who do make the effort to claim, the aim is to recoup all that they can – with £7.36 being, on average, the smallest amount Brits will claim. 46 per cent believe that any spending during the working day, even a coffee, is fair game and should be claimed for, no matter how small. One in six (17 per cent) also admit to claiming for items costing under a pound.
Despite taking an average of less than 25 minutes to complete, it’s the process of submitting expenses which puts people off. In fact, there is a long list of chores giving expenses a ‘run for their money’ in the boring stakes. Brits would happily choose to do any of the following over claiming back their cash:
- Take care of the weekly shop
- Go to the gym
- Take the bins out
- Clean the house
- Weed the garden
- Visit in-laws
- Speak in front of a crowd
- Clear out the loft or garage
- Go to the dentist
Marc Pettican, Managing Director of Commercial Payments at Barclaycard, said:
“Card payments are now the norm for the purchases we make in our everyday lives, so it’s surprising that so few employees have access to a card for business expenses. Our research shows this has caused frustrations for many, especially when their own finances are affected. Businesses can remove a lot of this headache by looking at the corporate payment options available to their employees. For many, having access to corporate cards could ease some of the challenges around submitting expenses and encourage employees to claim back the money they are rightly owed.”