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Employees Change Their Tune On Expense Reports

Do you have an expense account at work? If so, are you seeking every nickel and dime owed back to you?

You’re not alone if you’re leaving some money on the table. Two-in-three employees in a new Concur survey admit they’re not seeking every penny owed to them. In fact, nearly half (49%) of employees think it’s just not worth the hassle of filling out forms and arguing over nickels and dimes.

Of course, this chump change adds up over time: 20% of those surveyed are leaving up to 273 Pounds (U.K.) in employers’ pockets, unclaimed and unacknowledged. A full 22% of the employees surveyed they’re "too embarrassed" to ask for their money back and 5% feel "too guilty." One wonders what these guilt-ridden employees are buying, exactly?

Concur makes expense tracking software, so it has a definite interest in the topic. The survey, however, might reveal a little something about employee mindsets in this economy. I'm sure filling out forms is a hassle for many employees, but in this economy employees don't want to rock the boat, either. Go too crazy on an expense report and you might risk coming off like the obnoxious kid from Better Off Dead. I want my 2 dollars! Accounting complains about your in-depth expense sheets, and the next thing you know it's hello, next round of layoffs.

True or not, perhaps this is a fear lurking in the back of some employees' minds? Quietly eating $2.00 for parking once in awhile starts to feel like the price of admission for keeping a job. Besides, expensing the $2.00 isn't worth the headache. One wonders how much unclaimed expense report cash is padding the typical corporate bottom line from quarter to quarter. Of course, the employees who pad their expense reports could make up for it.

Well, change starts from within, as they say. In the Great Recession, however, change appears to be staying within the company.


  1. Like Concur, we are an expense report vendor (DATABASICS). To our experience there is a tendency among some employees not to want to appear petty or small-minded to the boss. Some company cultures may even subtly encourage this. A solution might be to hold back small reimbursable transactions and file them monthly. Or to press for a corporate credit which anyway is best practise for expense management and would reduce the uncomfortable instances where small amounts have to be reimbursed.


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