Survey: Some biz travelers pad their expense reports

Business travelers, to our knowledge, are not injecting steroids as some baseball players allegedly have done, but some road warriors do believe their colleagues are guilty of cheating -- on their expense reports.

In a survey done for American Express, 37% of business-traveler respondents said it was somewhat or quite common for business travelers to hand in expense reports with one or more completely false or bogus charges.

Market research firm Synovate conducted the online survey, The 2005 American Express Survey of International Business Traveler Expense Practices, in November and December.

Synovate interviewed 500 business travelers, approximately 125 each from the U.S., France, Germany and the U.K.

Regarding their views of fictitious or bloated items in travel and entertainment (T&E) reports, the respondents, who took at least one business trip the previous year, were not referring necessarily to their own T&E practices.

Among the findings, 45% of survey participants said their companies were somewhat or a lot tougher in their policies on reimbursable T&E items over the last two to three years.

And, reviewing their own practices over that timeframe, 23% of business travelers indicated they were somewhat or much more careful about complying with their companies T&E policies.

Survey respondents from France (56%) and Germany (55%) reported that their companies are taking a harder line on T&E policies than U.S. (31%) and U.K. (39%) participants indicated.

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