Expense management during business trips is complicated enough already. However, keeping figures may become even more challenging in the future, as it seems that a large portion of business travelers have become accustomed to mixing personal time into their business trip schedules.
A recent report from The New York Times detailed how "some play on a trip for work," quoting a number of prominent business travelers who detailed how they like to spend time on personal trips and sightseeing, for example, while out on company business trips.
Such prospects could throw a wrench into a company's expense management plans. Workers may be more likely to violate company expense policies if they're mixing personal costs with business costs, which would necessitate more stringent expense reporting policies.
Nick Vournakis, senior vice president at Carlson Wagonlit Travel, a travel management company, for example, explained the practice of mixing personal trips with business trips has been picking up significantly and recently.
"This is a trend we've seen pick up for the business traveler over the last several years...blending leisure and business as a way to make the throes of business travel a little bit more palatable, a little bit more acceptable," he told the news source.
Lorraine Sileo, vice president of research for PhoCusWright, further detailed how pervasive the practice has become. She noted that 47 percent of all American business travelers added at least one leisure day to one of their business trips during 2011. Businesses that hope to avoid sharing the brunt of the cost for these personal days would do well to employ automated expense reporting technology, such as that offered by Certify, to ensure that they're not reimbursing any out-of-policy personally-incurred expenses on behalf of their employees.
Sileo went on to explain that businesses that do not enforce strict travel policies are most likely to see their employees add leisure days on their business trip - so if a company is against the practice, it would do well to tighten up its traveling policy.