Friday, August 7, 2020

Business travellers say they’re left out of pocket on the expenses trail

Almost 3 in 5 UK workers who travel regularly for business say they have suffered personal financial difficulties as a result of paying for expenses out of their own pocket. That’s according to new research from fuel card provider Allstar Business Solutions.

Of those who have paid out for on the road expenses on behalf of their employer, 59% are between £50 and £200 out of pocket. For a worker on the average UK salary of £29,000 a year, this works out as between 8% and 30% of their disposable income each month, says the company. However, for van drivers, who take home just over £20,000, this has the potential to make a significant dent in their disposable income.

When it comes to forking out on behalf of their employers, more than two fifths (43%) used their own bank card to pay for expenses, with fuel and parking fees as the biggest costs on the tab (69% and 37% respectively).

When asked what they found most annoying about travelling for business, almost a third (31%) of workers revealed that it was having to use their own money to pay for expenses.  With a further quarter (26%) revealing they have actually decided to seek employment elsewhere as a result of their employer’s travel expense policy.

Expenses continue to be a bone of contention, as nearly two thirds (62%) of employees are looking to their bosses to step up and take more responsibility for footing the bill before or during their business trip.

What’s more, the figures reveal that one in ten (11%) employees never claim back all their expenses, with paper receipts being revealed as the main culprit for this. More than a third (35%) put it down to struggling to keep hold of them and a further 44% said that the process of collecting, keeping, and submitting the receipts was a cause of frustration for them.

The research of over 1,000 SME employees comes as part of leading fuel card provider Allstar Business Solutions’ campaign to improve the expenses process for employees on the road.

Thore Vestergaard, SVP and MD of Commercial Cards, FLEETCOR, said: “Employees have clearly been carrying the burden of work expenses while on the road for business – this is unnecessarily souring the relationship between employee and employer.

“More than a third of the employees we quizzed called for a single card to pay for all expenses, to make their business travel easier. As such, the need for a payments solution to resolve the exasperation over expenses has never been more evident.

“There are solutions available on the market that do just that; Allstar Business Solutions has been a long-time provider of cashless payment systems for fuel and business expenses, like the Allstar Plus VISA card.

“This kind of option is a combined fuel and work expenses card, enabling those that drive for work to pay for on the road costs as well as other business expenses, from subsistence, to parking or accommodation. It also cuts down on business admin and allows employers to have control over all spending on the card, including where it’s used and how much is being spent.”

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