Fuel cards – an employee benefit and time saver in one
Employee expenses might not be on top of your list of priorities but recent research we undertook highlighted that expenses are a real hidden problem – both for businesses and its employees.
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When you think about what makes a good employer and why you joined your company – or set it up - provision of a company fuel card was probably not top of your list. It’s unlikely to be something that you’ve personally ever asked about at an interview or something that you’ve sold as an employment benefit.
By the time they get to an interview a prospective employee is likely to have done significant amounts of research into your business: perhaps what the culture is like, what the perks of the job are, how much holiday they get, whether they get a company car, if they get discount at the local gym.
But some new research we undertook has identified a problem area that should be the top of every employer’s hit list: business expenses.
A survey we recently commissioned of 1000 people who drive for work found that nearly 1 in 5 people (23%), have suffered personal financial difficulties because they have to pay for work related expenses out of their own pocket and had to reclaim the money later. 17% say they have avoided business trips because they have to pay the bill themselves and reclaim it later and 1 in 5 admitted they just guestimate how far they’ve driven when it comes to reclaiming business mileage costs.
Not only are employers putting employees at risk of financial difficulty, associated stress and potential time off work as a result, they risk pushing the employee away to another company where they are given the tools and support they need to conduct company business without causing themselves issues.
What’s more, the inaccuracy of financial claims made for ‘mileage driven’ and the amount of time required to administer a traditional ‘pay and reclaim’ system is huge. Employees themselves are spending 90 minutes a month on average filling in expense forms. And for each of those someone needs to verify them and then actually repay them. Then you need to check which items, like fuel, are VAT reclaimable and list those out in an approved format for your HMRC reclaim. All time that could be invested in doing more business, as well as money that can be saved from only paying the true cost.
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