March 15, 2022 • • 5 min read

Inconvenient Expenses: Work Spend | Just Eat for Business

Inconvenient Expenses: Employees’ Perception of Work Spend Admin

When workloads are high and the week doesn’t feel long enough, doing admin for expenditures such as lunch can fall to the bottom of the to-do list. But how do office workers really feel about submitting expenses, and how can employers improve the process? 

Just Eat for Business’ Inconvenient Expenses study looks into the average time spent doing expenditure admin, including submission and processing time, as well as workers’ attitudes towards doing so. The survey also looked into the most common expenses submitted, as well as what workers would change about their organisation’s expense processes. 

The study included Google survey data and LinkedIn polls, with the aim of encouraging businesses to take advantage of employee benefit services like Just Eat Pay. The daily or monthly digital food allowance works to reduce the hassle of processing complex and costly food expenses, while giving teams the flexibility to order individually. 

The findings are also paired with expert commentary from business professionals on the impact that confusing and tedious expense processes can have on a business and employees.


Study Findings


Frequency of Expense Admin

The Survey data revealed that over half of respondents submit expense forms once or twice a month, while a quarter are doing expenditure admin slightly more regularly at 3 to 4 times in a month.

When asked about how long it takes workers to submit an expense form, the survey found that it doesn’t take too much time  out of their day, as 60% of employees said it takes them less than 15 minutes per form. 

The survey found that the most common work expense amongst workers proved to be food and drinks (31%), followed by transport (22%) and petrol or diesel costs (21%).

However, the thing that appears to cause the most stress for both workers and businesses is the time it takes to be reimbursed for expenses. . The polls found that over a third (38%) of office workers have to wait more than a month to receive their expenses back. 

Mike Chappell, Co-Founder and COO at Formspal, speaks on the often lengthy process of expense processing, and how this admin time could be better used by businesses:

“Concerning expenditure reporting, employees and finance teams alike must deal with a lot of tedious and time-consuming manual labour. It’s impossible to send a request to finance unless it has been reviewed and approved by management, and the finance team must first process the claims and balance the transactions before issuing refunds. 

“In addition, it doesn't take into account any exchanges before the final step between the parties. This means there’ll be a delay in reimbursing employees, exacerbating the already existing financial stress for both parties. As a result, employees' time engaged in the expense process may be better spent on the company's strategic, high-value projects.”

Employee Attitudes Towards Work Admin

The time it takes to reimburse expenses also appears to be a contributing factor to how workers feel about handling admin. 

When asked about how they feel about doing expenditure admin, over a quarter (28%) of workers revealed that they wish submitting expenses wasn’t their responsibility, while 1 in 3 admitted that they find dealing with expenses annoying. 

It’s no surprise that expense procedures aren’t popular with workers, given that 1 in 5 workers have been asked to clarify their work expenses after making a submission (23%), while 41% of workers have lost their receipt prior to submitting a request.

Nearly a quarter (24%) of UK workers also reported that they somewhat agree with the statement ‘I find submitting expenses stressful or intimidating’. This boils down to various reasons, including confusing expense policies which Caleb Riutta, Co-Founder at Offer Sesame, weighs in on here: 

“Many business purchasing policies are overly complex, confusing, or even contradictory in an attempt to cover every possible circumstance. On the other hand, some businesses lack explicit policies and instead rely on employees to utilise their best decision, which may not coincide with the financial department's. 

“For example, employees may unknowingly spend outside of policy and be unable to get reimbursed in both circumstances, putting them at an economic disadvantage simply for trying to execute their jobs. Finance should support systems that ensure personnel comply with the policy in the first place, rather than reprimanding them after they've done something wrong.”

Lucy Cantan, Sales and Partnership Director at Just Eat for Business, gives her analysis on the data: “Completing and processing admin for expenditures such as lunch or work dinners can be time consuming for all involved - whether you’re an employer or employee. However, it’s really important that everyone receives what they’re owed and continues to benefit from paid-for meals and travel costs. 

“That’s why we encourage businesses to take advantage of schemes like Just Eat Pay, which reduces the hassle of completing and processing expense forms, and means employees and employers alike can focus their efforts elsewhere.”


While the poll data suggests that the admin around submitting expense reports for lunches and dinners isn’t too time consuming, receiving money back is a long and often delayed process. 

If you want to treat your team to a wide range of cuisines and vendors of their choice, Just Eat Pay is a great solution to cutting out the hassle of confusing and costly expense processes. With daily or monthly digital allowances on a prepaid voucher, you and your team can get back to the important stuff, and employees don’t have to wait to be reimbursed - meaning you can sit back, relax, and enjoy delicious work lunches and dinners together.