One in four staff admit making false expense claims, study finds


Businesses not querying claims

A quarter of employees confess to making false expense claims at work, according to a new study.

One in five of them reported feeling no guilt about their actions, says the survey of 1,000 UK office workers by webexpenses, with one in four agreeing with the statement: “The longer you stay with a company, the more likely you are to bend the rules.”

Perhaps surprisingly, 70 per cent said their expenses claims had never been queried or rejected by their employer.

Men are worse offenders than women, with 28 per cent confessing they had made false or exaggerated claims compared to 22 per cent of women. Those aged between 16 and 24 were more likely to break company expenses policies, with almost one in three admitting they had done so at some point.

There were notable discrepancies between sectors, with 72 per cent of those working in arts and culture sector confessing to a false claim, compared to just seven per cent in the legal sector.

Expenses fraud may be the tip of the iceberg, according to separate figures released earlier this year by fraud prevention service CIFAS. It reported an 18 per cent year-on-year increase in the amount of fraud attributed to insiders, with the average length of tenure for a miscreant standing at 6.5 years.

KPMG’s 2014 Fraud Barometer also reported a hike in employee fraud, highlighting a case where a local government employee attempted to steal £162,000 by using disappearing ink on apparently legitimate cheques. When they were signed by senior executives, she replaced the vanished payee names with her own.

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