Furniture, Appliances And Adult Toys! Tech Company Reveals The Wildest Items Employees Have Put On The Company Card

Bangkok, Thailand - Jun 23, 2015 : Group of credit cards on computer keyboard with VISA and MasterCard brand logos

A new study from expense management platform Divipay has highlighted a lack of trust between businesses and employees when it comes to expense claims and revealed some of the wildest items workers have attempted to put on the company card.

The survey revealed the bizarre, expensive, unnecessary, or personal purchases employees have made using a company card.

Almost a third (30 per cent) of business owners surveyed revealed an employee had made such purchases on the company card, with the majority admitting it had been used for personal food or coffee expenses.

Other respondents revealed employees had purchased personal trips, gifts, appliances, adult toys and furniture. Some business owners revealed purchases had been accidental, while others admitted employees had made a personal purchase and knowingly claimed it as a business expense, highlighting the potential downside of company cards that don’t offer real-time visibility for the business.

DiviPay also found that 30 per cent of business owners don’t trust their employees with a corporate credit card or expense allowances. This suggests continued remote working arrangements have reduced visibility for many business owners over expenses and corporate credit card use by their employees.

The lack of trust was higher among business owners with only a couple of staff, whose businesses are more financially fragile. Forty-two (42) per cent of businesses with up to three employees don’t completely trust employees with their corporate card or expense allowances, compared with 21 per cent of those with 16-50 employees and 23 per cent of those with 51-200 employees.

The smaller the business, the more likely they are to believe that employees are completely honest with their use of company expense allowances. Forty-eight (45) per cent of businesses with up to three employees, 50 per cent of those 3-15 employees, 53 per cent of those with 16-50, and 58 per cent of businesses with 51-200 employees believe their employees don’t use company expense allowances honestly.

Divipay also found that 32 per cent of business owners with 16-200 employees – compared with 25 per cent of businesses with 3-15 employees and just 2 per cent of businesses with up to three employees – had actually caught employees making an expense purchase that was either personal, not approved or not allowed in the business’s expense categories. 

Daniel Kniaz, Co-Founder and CEO of DiviPay, said: “It is concerning to see a lack of trust between business owners and their employees. It suggests many smaller businesses lack a system that provides them with adequate visibility over expenses and how they’re being used by employees. This is what will grow trust within the business. Unfortunately, remote working has likely exacerbated the need for increased visibility over expenses and corporate card use. Without this visibility and trust, business owners are likely spending hours rectifying expenses and risking profit losses.”

“With continued uncertainty around the pandemic and its impact on many businesses, SMEs are sticking to stringent budgets more than ever and small expense mistakes can add up and risk larger issues down the track. It is alarming that some employees are guilty of making personal purchases and allocating them as business expenses. This misuse of funds can lead to liability issues for business owners and land their company in hot water. It points to a need for business owners to strengthen their whole-of-business expense process by including business cards that come with a sophisticated expense management system.”

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