Employees frequently incur work-related expenses. Although they are quickly reimbursed, a portion of them do not claim all the amounts they have advanced. This is what is found in a study published by Unit4, a company offering business solutions, conducted among 2,000 mid and top level managers in 9 countries including Canada.
Canadian employees each year lose 1.4 billion dollars by not asking for their work-related expenses to be reimbursed. 23% of them do not claim all the money they have advanced, to the tune of $392. Why do they waive reimbursement of all their expenses? 66% say the amounts are so small that the procedure makes it not worthwhile. 34% don’t think to ask for receipts, 33% forget to submit a request for reimbursement, 26% lose their receipts. Finally, 11% think the process takes too much of their time and 11% feel that the procedure is too frustrating. Despite these obstacles, 75% of Canadian employees are satisfied with the reimbursement procedure, which has a positive influence on the image they have of their company (53%).
In the United States, employees (17%) who do not claim reimbursement of their expenses leave behind $520. Then come German employees (12%) who leave $438 of expenses unclaimed. So Canada lies in 3rd place for the highest unclaimed amounts. Countries with the highest proportions of employees who fail to make their request are the Netherlands (36%), Sweden (33%) and Spain (33%).
Procedures can create financial difficulties
Inappropriate procedures are a source of demotivation for employees and sometimes put them in financial difficulties. 20% of Canadian employees are confronted with money problems due to the company’s reimbursement policy. So far this situation does not unduly influence the opinion they have of their employer. Only 4% of those surveyed have a negative image because of the process the company has in place for reimbursement of expenses. However, 21% of workers believe their company takes advantage of the reimbursement system to get a financial advantage of their expenses.
In the other countries studied, American workers are the most affected: 37% of them are in financial difficulties due to advancing expenses that they have to make as part of their work. This is followed by France (24%), Spain (23%), the United Kingdom (23%) and Canada (20%). The least affected by this phenomenon are Dutch employees (8%). Finally, American companies suffer the most from a negative image, with 42% of employees that believe their employer derives a financial benefit from the procedures for reimbursing expenses. Then comes Spain (29%), Sweden (26%), the United Kingdom (25%) and France (23%).