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It’s the company’s dime: Spend wisely

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How you spend company money speaks volumes about your character, at least as far as your boss is concerned, Jennifer Winter writes for When you’re on company business, sometimes you might not be sure what the protocol is for how much is too much when spending company money. The following tips will come in handy:

•  Watch and learn. When traveling in groups, do as everyone else does. Don’t go for steak and wine if everyone else is eating salad and drinking tea. Ask for restaurant recommendations from co-workers when going out-of-town.

•  Don’t be greedy. It can be easy to get carried away on business trips, especially those that involve fancy dinners. Remember: If you wouldn’t buy it with your own money, don’t buy it with the company’s. So don’t go overboard with the drinks, appetizers and desserts.

•  Don’t be cheap. Asking for re­­imbursement for trivial things may be interpreted as disrespectful to the company. Try not to charge to the company things you would normally buy in an average workweek.

•  Always ask for receipts. Many people either don’t do this or do this incorrectly. A good idea is to take the hotel stationery envelope and keep it with you. Wrap a rubber band around your wallet as a re­­minder to ask for receipts and stuff them in the envelope. Make notes on receipts for unusual expenses.

These general guidelines will help you prove that you can be trusted with company assets.  

— Adapted from “On the Company Dime: Expense Report Etiquette 101,” Jennifer Winter,

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