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Two-thirds of marketing and PR people aren't claiming back expenses, according to recent research

ttps:// (66%) of marketing, PR, advertising and market research workers are failing to claim back the money they are due on expenses, according to recent research commissioned by financial company Soldo. This is bad news for both the people who are out of pocket, and for their employers, who could end up with disgruntled staff.

Key findings

  • Employees in this sector have the highest average value of unclaimed expenses (£65.75) per year, more than double the overall average (£31.99).
  • Of those employees who choose not to claim back expenses, the most commonly cited reason (38%) is that the current expense reporting process in their company is too complex, or time-consuming.
  • The average employee in this sector spends as much as 84 minutes per week submitting expense claims.
  • Over half (56%) of workers in this sector say their main reason for not claiming back expenses is that they forget to keep their receipts.
  • For nearly half of employees at marketing, PR, advertising and market research firms, the average reimbursement time is at least three to four weeks.

% of staff by industry that have purchased an item for work with their own money but not claimed it back

Discussing why firms are foolish to fail to pay their people what they are owed, Darren Upson, VP of small business Europe Soldo, says: “Leaving staff out of pocket for an unreasonable amount of time is bad news for any business: it damages morale, financial wellbeing and, critically, trust in the employer. But it’s clearly a problem that affects certain industries more severely than others. Employees in professions like marketing, PR, advertising and market research typically have a greater need to spend on things like travel and client hospitality, but their companies are not adequately set up to manage and enable staff spending in a responsible, controlled manner.”

Average value of unclaimed expenses by industry

It is up to marketing and PR people to make more fuss about this issue. It is completely unacceptable that they should be out of pocket, and if they have not got time to claim their expenses, they should insist that employees develop a better system for doing so.


The survey was conducted on behalf of Soldo by TopLine Comms and Opinium Research in June 2019, interviewing 1,000 people in full-time work in SMEs in the UK.

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