The length of any business trip is going to vary. For some, a business trip may almost be a relocation, involving staying at a new destination for a few weeks. For other jobs, a business trip may be for just a few days. In either case, even if you are using expense report software, one area where travel expenses bear closer scrutiny is for expenditures incurred during the weekend.
Work & Play
During a typical work week, sending an employee to another city or country is pretty straightforward. Your employee will be working with other people, during office hours, and it’s easy to see which expenditures are in line with work expectations, and which ones stray from policy.
During weekends, however, things can change. The office or clients your employee is working with may or may not be continuing to work, but things like meals and other day-to-day expenditures continue, even if work has slowed down or stopped altogether.
This is one reason why it’s important for financial staff to take a closer look at the expense report items that come in during a weekend. If you use ExpensePoint, and your employees are compliant with using it, this is quite easy, since you can get automatically notified of items are they are filed. This ensures that people can quickly look at a dinner that has been reported and expensed, and decide whether this is a legitimate business expense, or whether this is an employee knowingly or unknowingly misreporting a dinner with friends or family as part of the business trip.
The needs of a specific business trip will determine what reasonable expenditures should be covered by the company and what shouldn’t. But the weekend, when a lot of typical business expenditures should decline, is an important time to monitor. Even honest employees can make genuine mistakes, so it’s important to remember—and perhaps even take into account with travel allowances—that working on the weekends while travelling may incur some added expense. Be sure to monitor this so you can react quickly and decisively if things start going out of line.