This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

How to Keep Employees From Thinking the Sky's the Limit on Travel Expenses

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- From hotel rooms and dinners out to bar tabs and room service, it's easy for a two-day business trip to turn into a $1,000 proposition. For many small businesses, entertaining new clients and visiting vendors is a part of life -- but so is managing costs. If you're interested in ensuring that your employees do "more with less" while on the road, you're not alone. Our experts weigh in on the best ways to prevent expensive expenses.

Before you can complain about a hefty expense report, you have to make sure employees understand what they're allowed to buy, how they are expected to travel and the type of places they are encouraged to stay and dine, says Elaine Varelas, managing partner at outplacement and career services firm Keystone Associates.

"For some companies, $10 is an enormous expenditure, and for others, you've got to hit the $1,000 mark before it even gets on their radar," Varelas says. "Managers have to be clear when conveying expectations."

Anytime a manager sends someone out on the road for the first time, they need to give that employee an overview of what is expected and how much they should look to spend, Varelas says. Employees don't need to leave the office until they have a dollar figure in mind, as well as suggestions on restaurants and hotels that are within the company budget.

Smart employees traveling for the first time will ask for recommendations, Varelas says, which can open up a broader dialogue.

"It's ideal if they ask, 'Which restaurant would you recommend I take our client to?'" and you can either say, 'Don't go overboard' or 'Don't be afraid to go up a grade with this client,'" she says.

While some companies offer strict per diem allowances for lodging and food, Varelas says she's "not thrilled" with that idea, simply because costs vary so widely from city to city.

"Markets can be so significantly different for food and hotels that most managers may want to offer a cost range. In Buffalo, dinner might cost $35, but in Boston, it's probably going to be $60. The important thing is that you have those conversations in advance so no one is surprised," she says.
1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
FB $117.98 -0.50%
GOOG $696.21 -0.29%
TSLA $236.77 -2.10%
YHOO $36.20 -0.90%
AAPL $95.50 2.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,780.25 -110.91 -0.62%
S&P 500 2,065.22 -16.21 -0.78%
NASDAQ 4,778.7780 -38.8160 -0.81%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs