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31% of employees cheat on taxi expenses

UK TaxiIt’s been found that 31% of employees regularly cheat their employers to increase their monthly pay by either claiming for taxi costs that aren’t business related or adding extra onto their taxi expenses. This follows research by expense management company Spendivision, which surveyed 1,000 employees who routinely use taxis to travel for work.

Spendvision provides more effective purchasing through a single technology platform that improves decision making, offers greater control and compliance, and increases business profitability. Its solution is available to businesses directly, or through partners.

The company’s research has found that 23% of employees will regularly ask for blank receipts so they can add more money to them before their expense claims is submitted. Additionally, 10% admitted to going further by filling in claims for journeys that don’t have anything to do with business.

In addition to this, Spendivision found that 57% of employees mainly pay for taxis with cash, and just 27% try to pay with a card whenever they can. The company warns that the fact that most transactions are done in cash makes it hard for businesses to determine a effective paper-trail for taxi journeys. This means that it’s rare for claims to be queried. Only 10% of respondents who know they have submitted a fraudulent claim have ever experienced a problem putting their claim through.

The most likely employees to make changes on their claims are those in the North East of Britain, with 45% admitting to making claims for personal taxi journeys or filling out blank receipts with hiked taxi fares. Employees in the North West came in second, with 44% saying they have made inaccurate or fake claims. The most likely employees to do things how they should work in the East Midlands.

Spendvision director and chief executive Shane Bruhns says that most employees in the UK are essentially honest. However, taxi fares are still an easy target for the minority of workers who can be tempted to cheat. A few extra pounds here and there may not seem like much to a single person. However, if nearly 33% of a workforce is adding £15 to £20 a month to their expenses on a regular basis, the losses begin to mount quickly for the company.

He went on to say that the cash-based nature of taxi journeys is a clear weak link. It leaves employers with no alternative but to trust that their employees are being honest. Their research found that workers who routinely pay for taxi fares with a card are half as likely to make a fraudulent claim compared to those who pay with cash. Using cards instead of cash would be a step in the right direction, as there would be a smaller scope for fraudulent claims.

Bruhns added that more taxi drivers are starting to offer the option of credit card transactions, but it’s not realistic to assume that cash payments will end altogether. Finance teams instead need the means to record and analyse cash and card payments. Unless they have a system that presents all the information they need in a central place automatically, companies will find it very hard to get an accurate view of spending and determine anomalies.

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