Consulting

At kpmg, we get per diem $50-70 a day and we keep it whether we spend it or not. At other Big 4 I heard y’all get actuals? So if you get $50 for dinner, are people actually eating fancy dinners daily?

likehelpful
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We are also allowed to meal average so I will often have one very nice dinner a week and more affordable (and often healthier) options the other days. And don’t forget PPT juice.

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Growing up not having too much to spend, per diem would be great for me because I'm not used to spending much on food and would pocket some cash. Definitely dont care about nice dinners. EY does actuals and I find myself getting $20 dinners. This is only good if I have a friend in town and wanna pay for them, or pay for my colleague who's a local.

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I tried explaining this to people before and they just don’t get it. I was taught to not order differently just because someone else is paying (aka per diem or actuals).

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On my engagements the past 5 years we get to choose per firm or actuals (if it’s a team dinner). So for example I’ll do per diem 3 days and 1 day we’ll go out to a nice expensive dinner, get drinks, total cost of 150+ a person some times, and they just ask us to not charge through per diem that meal. So it’s the best of both worlds. Pocket per diem when I’m eating alone, manager pays for group meals and we just back out per diem that meal. I’m getting $400 value some weeks (and pocketing $250 of that). Or we’ll eat out nice dinners all week and I’m still Pocketing breakfast and lunch per diems

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Depends on the city, based on federal guidelines I think

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If your per diem is 50-70 then it’d be pretty tough to save. I’d rather get actuals and eat something other than fast casual food. Breakfast is ~10 lunch is ~20 Coffee break ~ 5 Dinner ~25 for an average Uber eats meal You just went over your allowance :(

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likesmart
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Per Diem > Actuals All. Day. Long.

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I once was on a project that I was the only one traveling and we had 80k for 6 months. Lived like a king.

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likeuplifting
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Oh, and I WFH every other week

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Used to do fancy dinners until I gained a ton of weight. Now I keep it basic and healthy. Typically well under the daily amount especially when breakfast is free at the hotel

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I’m feelin this. I started eating only half my meals because I’ve never been a healthy eater.

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I’ve been pondering this since I recently switched from EY to D. EY was $15 breakfast, $0 lunch, $50 dinner. With all the lunch games people play, meal averaging, the awful expense tool, it was almost like I aimed to hit the max. D is more do whatever you want within reason. I probably spend less overall in the end. It’s almost like we’re treated like adults or something!

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I guess I was comparing it to the quick chipotle / Panera type dinner. $50 can get you a pretty decent meal in most places

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IBM does per diem. Spend as much or as little as you want. You get what you get and don’t get upset :-)

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Acn does per diem, the value depends on the city your project is in. I understand why actuals would be nice as I'm a foodie but I'm not ready to gain 10lbs in 2 months

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At the risk of sounding like an absolute knob, since when is $50 fancy? That would barely cover an entree and a drink

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If I’m traveling three nights, I get $50 for each night. Total of $150 for my three nights. I can spend $90 the first night, $40 the second night and $20 the third night. Again, totally $150. I am within policy as long as my average nightly meal doesn’t exceed $50.

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likeuplifting
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We do not only get per diem, this is very project based. When you have actuals there's either a project limit or its within reason. Having a project on per diem for me is the same as actuals, I get whatever I plan to eat, whether is more or less doesn't matter to me, I feel like it usually evens out. I could see the benefits of making extra money, but its not worth crappy meals just to bank $20 a day.

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Actuals here. My Manager said try to keep it under $100 per day with food not including team dinners

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It’s also client and engagement specific - not necessarily firm policy. If the client contract says accruals - we do actual. If they say per diem - we do per diem

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We get to keep per diem whether we use it or not. But currently on a project with $37 per diem

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It’s the old "get nice food" vs "pocket some money" dilemma. I don't usually eat a lot in the evening so I prefer per diem.

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Take the average of meal allowance and go to Whole Foods to get groceries and make meals to go.

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funny
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? Literally 2.5 weeks of hotels is =1 month rent

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How does meal average work?

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Basically his daily $50 rolls over. What he doesn’t use on Monday applies to the other days. Hence the nice dinner once a week.

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Depends on the project, I’ve had more engagements where we billed actuals than per diem. There’s no default

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