Expense reports: only one in three employees would never defraud, according to a study

Those who crossed the line, not necessarily intentionally, do not seem to be remorseful. They put forward questions of fairness.

The expenses incurred by the employee for the needs of his professional activity are professional expenses that the employer is required to reimburse him.», It is the Urssaf which says it. But employees would sometimes push the plug a little too far: only 1 in 3 employees said they would never make a mistake with expense reports, according to a November 2021 survey by SAP Concur *, which specializes in expense management professionals. She reveals that this practice, “the deliberate falsification of receipts at the request of a ‘little extra’ as compensation for a long weekend of business travel”, Could cost 13,709 euros per year to a European company of 250 employees.

In detail, 50% of French employees “believe it is acceptable to knowingly submit a false expense report with an average amount of 115 euros“. According to this study, some 32% of employees have already recorded their personal expenses related to a meal, 27% those of office equipment. 27% of them also rounded their mileage costs and 24% their business phone bills. Worse still, according to SAP Concur, nearly a fifth of respondents plan to take action when it comes to catering and travel.

To justify these excesses, they first cite private expenses related to working at home. ex aequo with time spent on business travel (19%), ahead of unpaid overtime (15%).

A significant financial impact

The plague of expense scams, unintentional in the majority of cases, remind the authors of the study, had already been highlighted in another published in 2017. Captio, software publisher, had analyzed more than 1.8 million expense reports from 130 companies revealing fraud of nearly 7 million euros, or more than 50,000 euros per company. SMEs would be more victims with a fraud rate of 15%, against 10% in large companies.

It is Urssaf, and more precisely its controllers, who are in charge of tracking down so-called internal fraud. Rule number 1, each expense report must be accompanied by a supporting document, to be presented in the event of an inspection. “Professional expenses [dont le dédommagement peut prendre trois formes : remboursement, versement d’allocations et déduction forfaitaire] are excluded from the basis for calculating Social Security contributions. They are also excluded from the CSG-CRDS database », Indicates the site of the organization.

* The survey was carried out in September 2021 with 2,500 employees; 1,500 financial decision-makers and corporate travel. They come from Germany, Italy, Benelux, Spain, UK, France and the Nordic countries.


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