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."