Business travellers short changed by paper-based expenses hassle

A survey has revealed that nearly one-in-five UK business travellers feel short-changed when it comes to travel and accommodation expenses.

The findings of the ICM research, commissioned by tech company Amadeus, show that 18 percent of workers in 2013 believed they had been left out-of-pocket by a business trip.

The main cause was given as expenses deemed to fall outside the company’s policy (56 percent), followed by lost receipts (14 percent) and employees not wanting to go through the hassle of making a claim (12 percent).

But the survey, which involved more than 400 employees, also found that business travel is on the up with the average number of annual trips rising from 12.7 in 2012 to 13.1 in 2013.

The other change shown was a greater breadth of employees across an organisation now making business trips. The number of individuals taking one or more trip doubled from four percent in 2011 to eight percent in 2013.

These increases have occurred despite many analysts making gloomy predictions about the future of business travel as a result of improved communications; particularly use of video conferencing.

Diane Bouzebiba, managing director of Amadeus UK said: “We are delighted to see the growing optimism in economic outlook translating into an increase in travel, especially given the pivotal role it plays in both employee and customer satisfaction.

“The findings shine a spotlight on the variation in traveller requirements, enabled by the proliferation of online and mobile travel management tools, variation of travel choices on offer.”

The survey has highlighted how connectivity has become such as important factor for today’s business traveller. The ability to connect to Wi-Fi was second only to proximity to the meeting venue when it came to choosing accommodation.

The other theme identified was that travellers were increasingly looking for personalised treatment. Ancillary services such as having extra legroom, dietary requests and additional luggage space were all viewed as important.

Lost receipts and the hassle of having to process paper-based expenses, highlighted by this research, are problems which can be removed when using webexpenses.

The webexpenses app allows users to take a photo of any receipt and submit the details instantly to their account in digital form. Find out how webexpenses can help manage your company’s business travel expenses here.