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Could politeness be costing your company?

One of the toughest tasks, when you’re managing expenses, is challenging suspicious looking claims. It’s an awkward and uncomfortable task, one which can involve questioning a co-worker’s integrity.

And it’s especially difficult in a British business culture built which values traits such as politeness, civility, and respect for rank. So how does this affect the way we manage expenses?

This is the focus of our latest research. We commissioned a survey of more than 1,000 managers working at various companies. We wanted to learn more about the real-world interactions which can affect an expenses policy.

The results suggest this is a very real issue. It was found that 78 percent of managers believed that politeness and a reluctance to challenge employees was costing their company money.

One-in-five of the respondents said they would not challenge an expense to claim they suspected of being fraudulent. Similar responses were found when challenging other aspects of business life such as lateness, days off a sick and poor performance.

When asked why they would allow these issues to go unchallenged, 20 percent said it was due to not wanting to upset anyone, 20 percent said they would feel awkward and 17 percent said they didn't want to appear rude.

Adam Reynolds, CEO of Webexpenses, said:

"The findings clearly show that these factors are having an increasingly detrimental effect on the nation’s businesses.

“The reluctance of managers to challenge their employees over simple discrepancies and a failure to observe simple workplace protocol could be costing these organisations considerable amounts of money and time.

“Our aim at webexpenses is to arm those overseeing company expenses with clear visibility of their company’s finance function, so that company expenses can be managed effectively.”

Webexpenses provides a robust and real-time system which transforms the way companies are able to manage and monitor their expenses.

You can find the full findings of the research in our special report and for a quick overview of the key findings take a look out our infographic.