North American employees and managers are missing out on more than $10.7 billion of unclaimed expenses every year, according to new estimates.
Enterprise resource planning software provider Unit4 surveyed senior and middle-management professionals in the U.S. and Canada and found that 17 percent of them regularly don’t expense all they could, while the percentage is even higher in Canada, at 23 percent.
Unit4 estimates that U.S. employees lose out on an average of $390 per year, while Canadian employees miss out on $284 per year, both in U.S. dollars.
Unit4 surveyed senior and middle management professionals who are employed full and part-time, and who submit expense claims in the U.S., Canada, as well as the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and Sweden. The findings are based on responses from almost 2,000 employees with at least 200 responses from each country.
Survey respondents gave a number of reasons for failing to claim expenses, including low value, forgetting to ask for receipts, losing receipts or simply forgetting to submit the expense claim. One out of three employees said they refrain from submitting expense claims because the process is too frustrating and time consuming. The same amount have to wait for more than one month for their expenses to be paid after making a claim, though overall most expenses are paid within a month.
Corporate expense claim processes do not support employee engagement initiatives to the extent that companies are leaving employees short of money. Two out of five (37 percent) U.S. professionals who regularly claim expenses say this is the case, with those in France (24 percent), Spain (23 percent), the U.K. (23 percent) and Canada (20 percent) reporting they find themselves short of money.
Many North American professionals feel they are being financially taken advantage of by their employers. When asked if they feel their employer is gaining a financial advantage over them through the expense claim process, 42 percent of U.S. respondents said yes. In Spain (29 percent) and Sweden (26 percent), the UK (25 percent), France (23 percent), Canada (21 percent) and Belgium (20 percent) agreed, compared to only 10 percent in Germany and the Netherlands.
Of the employees surveyed who said yes, 28 percent (average across countries) feel this has a negative influence on their feelings towards their company.