{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I’m on a team that works 12-14 hour days but expects us not to expense dinner because of the budget. What would you do? Obviously firm policy states we can, but does that look bad?", "post_id": "5e2f95aa7f8f88001cfddb99", "reply_count": 35, "vote_count": 15, "bowl_id": "564a5cdb94887803001dd07c", "bowl_name": "Accounting" }

I’m on a team that works 12-14 hour days but expects us not to expense dinner because of the budget. What would you do? Obviously firm policy states we can, but does that look bad?

likehelpful
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This is completely unacceptable. If I learned someone was doing this there would be an immediate counseling/coaching session. This is the kind of unilateral decision that drives partners crazy because it upsets our teams and often we have no idea. This is why open dialogue and upward feedback are so critical. Food is one of the universal perks in our profession. This behavior is just no good.

likehelpfulsmart

Eek sorry to hear that.

That sounds like a senior or idiot manager made that decision. You either have to talk to HR or you have to tell the senior (in a professional manner) you’re going to expense dinner and dare them to do something about it. I’ve heard about managers doing this for dinner or even mileage and when I have asked more questions, it is usually because the manager doesn’t understand that we bill time PLUS expenses. And if I did an engagement letter that doesn’t allow expenses, I accounted for that in the budget. If you mentioned it to me, though, you can bet there would be an immediate fixing of the problem with the manager finding out very quickly he doesn’t get to decide to go against firm policy.

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Aren't you getting enough food from eating your time?

likefunnysmart

You have to speak to HR about this. Are you expected to pay for your own dinner or just go hungry? And do you need to be on site?

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Agree that is lame and worth bringing up to someone higher, even better if you can get someone else to complain then your hands are clean. An entire team dinner is like $200 which is less than 30 minutes of manager time.

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If they tell you you can go home and just have to keep working then ok (still borderline) but actually on the HR side here.

likeuplifting

I had a similar experience on a small client I was on a few years ago. The senior (acting manager) told us to leave around 7pm and log on from home.. this meant we couldn’t expense dinner or get a taxi home. So in my case I would get home around 8:30ish and have to cook my own dinner and then work. And then they wonder why we leave Big 4 🙄

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Yeah that’s what I’m saying though, most places let you take taxi if you stay late OR if you work long hours. Doesn’t have to be both.

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Reasonable expenses are typically covered in the standard EL/SOW on top of fee... Sounds like you've got a leadership team in need of education. Expense it to the client anyway and if the partner really doesn't want to send it they can migrate codes to G&A or PD

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Get dinner and expense it if you don’t have time to prep. If they don’t want you to do that, then they can take you off the project.

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PwC partner here def get dinner this is not what the firm wants. Also please let your partner know.

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Yikes! Feels bad man...

It is nutty. No budgets can it afford food for folks working that much. I hope you can work it out.

If the budget can't handle something it's all those hours. Meals are a drop in the bucket.

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