Episode 93: How to Handle Your Company Card


December 5th, 2023

21 mins 17 secs

Your Hosts

About this Episode

Today we’re talking about all things Company-Paid. We're here to help you understand and navigate the world of expenses. Here are the Real Job Talk guidelines for using your company credit card.

Guideline 1: Look at your company handbook/rulebook and familiarize yourself with the company’s policies around expenses. There may be limits on hotels, guidelines around flights, and per diems for meals and drinks.

If you see friends during time in a new city, that needs to be on your dime - just like when you see friends at home. Your per diem is to cover you because you’re there for work, not for your cocktails with friends.

Guideline 2: If it isn’t told to you, ASK! Can you buy yourself a mouse, monitor, or new desk? Ask the recruiter or hiring manager what will be covered by the company.

Guideline 3: Convenience is key. You are traveling for WORK, so any bookings you do (hotel, office etc) need to be close to the work you are doing, not to the nearby city you’ve always wanted to visit.

If you travel to a city and you want to go sightseeing and learn about it, that's totally fine, but the time you spend as a tourist is on you -- because the company doesn’t need you doing it and it's not part of your job. That said, you can extend your trip with a later flight after your personal travel (the company owes you a round trip ticket, the dates are less important), but the hotels and food during your tourism are on you.

Guideline 4: Treat the company’s money like your own. Want an upgrade for extra leg room, but that’s not in company policy? That’s on your dime. Think about saving up your per diem to buy your family dinner on your way home from the airport? The company doesn’t owe your family dinner -- and they could fire you or at least lose trust in you if they find out.

Bottom line: it’s not smart to abuse expenses. You could get fired. Don’t be fired for something so avoidable.

Guideline 5: If it’s not for work, it’s not expensable. If you’re not sure, ASK. If you choose to work at a coffee shop instead of home one day, it’s not expensable. If you’re having lunch with friends and they say “How’s work?”, that’s not expensable. If you take your team out, it probably IS expensable.

And when you can expense something, don’t bust the budget or order the most expensive thing you can. Don’t take advantage.

Guideline 6: Use the systems you’re told to use. Follow Finance’s guidelines. Keep receipts. Stay on top of it so that your expenses are up to date.

If you pay attention to these guidelines - and to the guidelines of your company - you won't get into trouble with expenses at work.