SAP Concur Survey Reveals that Only One in Three Employees Won’t Commit Fraud

SAP Concur Survey Reveals that Only One in Three Employees Won’t Commit Fraud

  • Mid-sized businesses could be losing USD 17,000 a year due to fraud
  • 54% of travel and finance decision makers believe AI tools can help detect fraud

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – 26 December 2021 – Mid-sized businesses could be losing 17,000 USD a year due to fraud, according to an SAP Concur global survey. “The Hidden Cost of Expense Fraud and Non-Compliance” report takes a closer look at the topic of expense fraud and employees’ attitudes towards it, how businesses are tackling the issue, and the digital tools which have the potential to help. 

Adjusting expense submissions might encompass a broad spectrum of behaviours: from deliberately falsifying receipts through to claiming a “little bit extra” as recompense for a long weekend business trip. The research reveals that employees believe that it’s acceptable to knowingly submit a false expense claim of up to 145 USD on average.  

While it’s important to understand that most incorrect claims are raised unintentionally, it’s also important to understand those factors that make deliberate expense fraud more likely to happen – and these are often related to employee awareness and satisfaction. According to the survey: 

  • There is a widespread lack of understanding of fraudulent activity and its implications for employees and the business. For example, 49% of employees have rounded up mileage fees, while a further 14% would consider doing it. In addition, 41% have expensed private restaurant bills, and another 16% would consider doing it. 
  • Almost half (48%) of employees think it is perfectly acceptable to over expense or disregard company policies regarding expenses on a yearly basis. Should all these people act on these attitudes, a company of 250 people that hand in expense reports could potentially be looking at an annual loss of USD 17,000.
  • Many employees cite fairness as a reason for their tolerant attitude towards cheating: whether that’s to get a little extra compensation for the overtime they don’t get paid for (19%), for the private money they need to spend on working from home (18%), or for the time spent travelling for business (17%).  

Pierre-Emmanuel Tetaz, EMEA SVP & General Manager, SAP Concur, explains: “It’s clear from our research that expense fraud is commonplace, and often at such a small scale, that some employees don’t even see it as an issue. For some employees – from juniors to leaders – it’s not only okay to hand in incorrect expense claims, but they also consider themselves totally justified in doing so.  

For organisations it can be an issue though– and this goes beyond lost profits. Travel and finance teams may spend many hours checking and investigating expense claims, and there is always the risk of non-compliance and its potential consequences.  

Tools like our new Concur Detect by Oversight that use Artificial Intelligence (AI) help to ease that burden. AI can help automate some of the more labour-intensive tasks, identify patterns and make data-based decisions. This frees up time for organizations to focus on educating employees on T&E policy and the perils of non-compliance and making tailored policy adjustments.” 

As companies look towards the future, business and finance leaders are starting to see how AI-enabled solutions will help them to better tackle fraud and non-compliant expenses: 

  • Over half of travel and finance decision makers (54%) believe that artificial intelligence tools can help detect fraud 
  • Over half of travel and finance decision makers (54%) believe that artificial intelligence tools can simplify their compliance processes. 
  • However, with AI comes critical concerns about the unintended consequences for employees. Almost half (44%) of decision makers worry that employees might object to the use of AI tools in the compliance process, and 39% are afraid that AI will make their job redundant.

For more information on Concur Middle East, visit www.concur.ae

-Ends-

Note to Editors: ‘The Hidden Cost of Expense fraud and Non-Compliance’ report is based on the views of 2,500 employees who regularly travelled for business before the pandemic, as well as 750 finance decision makers and 750 travel decision makers in businesses.  The survey was conducted in France, Germany, Italy, Benelux, Nordics, Spain and the UK, by Opinium in September 2021. For more information about the findings of in ‘The Hidden Potential of VAT Reclaim’ report, please download the report from SAP Concur.

About SAP Concur

SAP® Concur® is the world’s leading brand for integrated travel, expense, and invoice management solutions, driven by a relentless pursuit to simplify and automate these everyday processes. The highly-rated SAP Concur mobile app guides employees through business trips, charges are directly populated into expense reports, and invoice approvals are automated. By integrating near real-time data and using AI to analyse transactions, businesses can see what they’re spending and avoid possible blind spots in the budget. SAP Concur solutions help eliminate yesterday’s tedious tasks, make today’s work easier, and support businesses to run at their best. Learn more at concur.com or the SAP Concur blog.

About SAP

SAP’s strategy is to help every business run as an intelligent enterprise. As a market leader in enterprise application software, we help companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best: 77% of the world’s transaction revenue touches an SAP® system. Our machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics technologies help turn customers’ businesses into intelligent enterprises. SAP helps give people and organizations deep business insight and fosters collaboration that helps them stay ahead of their competition. We simplify technology for companies so they can consume our software the way they want – without disruption. Our end-to-end suite of applications and services enables business and public customers across 25 industries globally to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and make a difference. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improve people’s lives. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

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