OT-Meals and Incidentals

Submitted by Maximinus Thrax on November 17th, 2009 at 9:48 AM

This is a survey question for all working people who must travel a lot for work. I travel significantly for my job. My company however will only pay for meals when we travel overnight. It is a little annoying seeing as how I always seem to be in some podunk town just about every week. My coworkers and I are considering asking our boss to begin paying for our lunches when we travel out of town. We work in public accounting, and we put some feelers out and it appears that in our field, meals are not generally paid for unless the travel overnight. Cheap bastards! Is this standard in other fields? Any other CPAs with input on this?



November 17th, 2009 at 10:04 AM ^

I work at a B4 firm (not an accountant or CPA) and they pay for meals on day trips for all out-of-town trips (if I drive/ fly/ take a train to another city, but don't stay overnight). The one gray area is when you are traveling to an in-town client, which is up to the partner.

You may want to ask former classmates who are at a B4 firm.


Maximinus Thrax

November 17th, 2009 at 10:12 AM ^

Our firm is not quite a B4 firm. But that is good to know about them. I really want to know if it reasonable to ask my boss to pay for this. I'm just getting sick of having to pack a lunch and eat in the employee cafeteria or wherever at our client locations (I can't really afford to eat out three days a week, and I don't want to kill myself with over exposure to Dollar menu fare).


November 17th, 2009 at 10:06 AM ^

the only time they covered any costs is if you were gone over night. and they covered everything. but if it was a day trip to a plant or a supplier the only thing you got was a company car so you didn't have to use your own gas.

i understand that you want to save money by not having to pay for your own lunches when you are on the road. but companies are trying to make money. so by asking them to cover your lunches for day trips your asking them to cover a huge expense...


November 17th, 2009 at 10:08 AM ^

I'm a professor at a public school (i.e., I'm a state employee). Any food bought between the time you leave and the time you return is covered up to a certain dollar amount, which varies based on the city.


November 17th, 2009 at 10:10 AM ^

The company I work for is a little more open. They will pretty much pay for anything we dare put on our expense reports and will only question big expenses (I had a $600 dinner questioned once). There is actually a guy here that is expensing his home internet because he says that it makes it so he can work from home and at night.