Every penny counts. (Photo, courtesy of Trianco.)

Bosses forced to scrutinise expenses

Published:  20 July, 2009

UK: Research from Premierline Direct highlights small businesses are well ahead of the Government when it comes to transparency and expenses claims. More than eight out of ten (84%) business owners say they have always closely scrutinised expense claims forms and will continue to do so.

By carefully checking employees' expenses, 37% of company bosses admitted they have identified situations where staff have claimed for costs they didn't pay for, additional mileage they didn't travel and unnecessary or excess costs.

As the public question MPs' allowances and the remit of what they can claim for, 65% of business owners view claiming expenses as a business formality with 79% saying they don't expect employees to cover operational costs.

As well as staff being able to claim for standard expenses such as business mileage (93%), mobile phone calls (73%) and tools and equipment (65%), small businesses are also very generous. One in five allows staff to claim for clothes, 21% for insurance and 15% for medical care.

Covering costs for business and staff entertainment is also accepted with one in five (21%) claiming costs for staff parties and over half for alcohol (53%) when entertaining.

In addition, small firms allow staff to claim for items that support them in their work. These include professional memberships (57%), training (63%), stationery (59%) and 60% said staff can claim for home office equipment, utility bills and the internet to enable them to work from home.

Chris Little, managing director of Premierline Direct, said: "In the current climate where every penny counts, establishing good practice extends to monitoring all operating costs.”

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