Personal use of company mobiles costs over £1 million a day

Workers in the UK spend around £400 million every year talking to friends and family on company mobile phones with the bills paid by their employers, according to new research.

Telecom expense management firm Aurora Kendrick James, which conducted the research, says companies are also at risk of inadvertently breaking tax regulations by mistakenly reclaiming VAT on the total mobile phone bill – rather than reclaiming just the business element.

This simple error means that potentially some £150,000 is being incorrectly claimed from the Exchequer every day, according to the firm.

Few businesses actively monitor and manage personal usage, the firm claims, and it believes that personal calls account for between 20% and 25% of all calls made on company mobiles. It also suggests that a business can release more than £80 per annum per user in cost and resource savings through implementing "a structured mobile expense management programme."

Managing Director Matt Atkinson said: “Implementing a mobile expense management policy will control and reduce personal usage but will also help with VAT compliance, validating invoices, tariff negotiation, management and inventory reporting; all of which will mean a more cost effective and controlled mobile estate.”