Posted August 09, 2013 by

Embezzling Employees are a Problem in the Workplace

Employers may be shocked to know that their employees are stealing from them.  How so?  Learn more in the following post.

Coupa Software, a leading provider of cloud-based spend optimization solutions for finance, recently announced the findings of it 2013 Employee Spending Survey, fielded among 500 American office workers, aged 18 and older, conducted online by uSamp in June.

The survey found that employees believe so-called “maverick spending” is costing their companies a lot of money.  58% have estimated that it is as much as $25,000 a year in waste, fraud and abuse, with many who say it is much more, including 9% who believe it is in excess of $100,000 and 6% who say it is more than $200,000 per year.

In addition, more than half (54%) of employees are now saying they have “gone rogue,” making purchases without the advance approval of their manager and an additional two-thirds (66%) say they have made “risky purchases,” including:

·         Overly expensive dinner – 38%

·         Office supplies for home use – 23%

·         Upgrade to a higher level of airline service – 22%

·         Smartphone – 18%

·         Exercise equipment – 9%

·         Personal clothing items – 7%

A surprising one-third (33%) of employees even admit they have stolen from the company in devious ways, including:

·         Inflated the cost of a taxi ride on a blank taxi receipt – 16%

·         Expensed personal items, pretending they are for business – 14%

·         Accepted a refund for an already expensed item without reporting it – 13%

·         Increased the amount of tip you claimed to have given a waiter/server – 11%

·         Expensed the same item more than once – 10%

·         Created a fake expense that never happened – 7%

Many say this is driven in part by the frustrations office workers are encountering when they need to make a work-related purchase.  In fact, 84% of office workers say they experience such difficulties, including:

·         Feeling pressure to negotiate a “good deal” – 46%

·         Too many levels of approval – 46%

·         Fear of being denied reimbursement – 43%

·         Not sure how to purchase without buying, then expensing – 27%

·         Unclear on process – 25%

So what can companies do about it? Nearly all (98%) of the survey respondents say that companies should take action now, and most point the finger at expense reports.  Among the actions employees say companies should take are:

·         Better oversight of expense reporting – 62%

·         Maintain guidelines for travel reimbursement – 54%

·         Audit expense reports randomly – 50%

·         Implement a fully functional procurement system for all purchases – 38%

·         Curb use of company charge cards – 36%

·         Prosecute employees who steal from the company – 33%

·         Question expenditures often – 32%

·         More levels of approval for employee expenses – 21%

·         Initiate formal review processes – 21%

Rob Bernshteyn

Rob Bernshteyn, CEO of Coupa Software

“The results of the survey indicate a spending culture in America’s corporations that has, in many ways, gotten out of control,” said Rob Bernshteyn, CEO, Coupa Software. “As the leader in cloud spend optimization, Coupa is educating the enterprise about the value of a spend management platform that can both control the maverick spending employees see every day, as well as ensure compliance to cross-company pre-negotiated discounts, thus saving an average 9% across the board for any company.”

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