IT Brief Australia - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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Aussie workers miss out on billions due to complicated expense claims
Wed, 17th Jan 2024

A recent global survey commissioned by WalkMe reveals that 44% of Australian workers are failing to submit expense reports for reimbursement, resulting in billions of dollars being missed. The survey also shows that work-related expenses are causing stress for 35% of employees, and they have negatively affected the financial situation of 19% of respondents in the holiday season.

The study uncovers that 63% of Australian workers find difficulty in filing work-related expenses, with time-consuming paperwork and a long reimbursement process being the key issues. Perhaps even more problematic, a quarter of the respondents pin their reluctance to file expenses on their organisations' overly complicated reimbursement procedure.

According to WalkMe's Chief People Officer, Chelsea Pyrzenski, providing employees a frictionless experience is crucial in expense reporting. "When expense reporting is so cumbersome or the process doesn’t feel worth the effort, employees will feel dissatisfaction with their jobs and more work stress, and that’s a problem for business," she stated. Failure to keep an organised expense reporting system might also lead to compliance and end-of-year fiscal reporting issues, making organisations prone to vulnerabilities.

Pyrzenski further stressed that it's in everyone's interest to ensure a very easy, efficient, and seamless process to avoid time-consuming processes and confusion over software and policies. Digital Adoption Platforms, such as WalkMe, could ease the troubles tied to filing expense reports, significantly enhancing both the employee and employer experience.

Additional data from the survey discloses that 32% of Australian workers continue to submit paper receipts, while 45% wouldn’t submit expenses worth less than $5, and 21% wouldn’t submit those less than $10. Furthermore, it found that Australian workers were the most forgetful about filing expense reports (45.2%), and 44% agreed that AI and productivity tools have made expensing easier.

Globally, workers in the 35-44 age bracket were most likely to not reclaim expenses (58%), whilst those aged 55 and above were the most diligent with 63% always filing for reimbursements. The younger generation aged 18-35 showed the most financial impact from unreimbursed expenses during the holidays (31.6%), double the impact on the 55+ group.

The multinational survey was conducted in November 2023 and polled over 2,400 workers, including 212 Aussies, from a variety of industries and job roles. The participants had reimbursable work-related expenses as part of their job duties and all worked full-time, with three-quarters in managerial or supervisory roles.