Last week we posted an inventory of Michael Caruso's guaranteed perks and bonuses when he was editor-in-chief of Men's Journal — guaranteed biz-class air travel, $10,000 for sticking to his budget, $10,000 for winning a National Magazine Award, and so on. For the rank-and-file, though, life is less pleasant. An MJ freelancer sends along the magazine's expense guidelines for normal folks, from which we learn that air and car-rental upgrades will never be reimbursed, yellow cabs and not car services must be used in New York, magazine and newspaper purchases can't be expensed, and — this is really our favorite part — restaurant tips will only be reimbursed up to 15 percent.
The full expense guidelines — and we assume they're the guidelines for Rolling Stone and Us Weekly, too — are after the jump.
MEN S JOURNAL EXPENSE GUIDELINES
Please read this carefully. The MJ Finance Department requires that the following guidelines be adhered to in submission of your invoices. Exceptions to the below are rarely granted, and must be made before incurring an expense.
Travel: All accommodation and transportation arrangements (including changes) must be made through our Travel Department. Upgrades on airfare and car rental are not reimbursable. When renting a car from Avis or National, do not elect insurance or fuel service option. If renting in a foreign country, please ask if insurance is necessary.
Hotels: You are responsible for paying your hotel charges with your credit card even though the company may guarantee your room with its corporate credit card. The original hotel ledger receipt must be submitted along with the credit card receipt. You are responsible for either informing the Travel Dept. in advance so that they may cancel the reservation on a reserved room or canceling it yourself to avoid no-show charges. No-show charges will not be reimbursed.
Phones: For long distance calls, only a phone card or personal land line calls will be reimbursed. Cell phone calls will only be reimbursed if authorized before use and itemized on cell phone invoice. Reimbursement requests for phone or cell phone calls must be accompanied by a copy of the phone bill with the calls highlighted. Use of hotel phones for long distance is not reimbursable.
Tips: Non-receipt tips (e.g. baggage, bellhops, etc.) may not exceed $10 per overnight per person. Tips on meals will be reimbursed up to 15 percent.
Cars: The company will reimburse either business use of a personal car at the rate of 36 cents per mile or gas charges for use of a personal car, but not both. The company reimburses parking and tolls while traveling. Overnight and long-term parking at local airports is reimbursed only when personal auto is the most cost-efficient means of transportation to and from the airport. Receipts are required.
Taxis: A receipt must accompany all taxi fare. Please use only yellow cabs in New York City.
Meals and other expenses: In cases where any charges exceed $10, items must be paid for by personal credit card. A receipt will be required for reimbursement for all expenses, including those under $10. If a vendor does not accept credit cards, clearly note it on receipt. Restaurant stubs will not be reimbursed. Personal meals should not exceed $80/day. Credit card statements may be substituted for lost receipts.
NON-ALLOWABLE EXPENSES Hotel gym, personal items (e.g. toiletries, dry-cleaning and wash, sundries), hotel mini-bar, traffic violations, lost or stolen goods, formalwear rental, stationery and office supplies, magazines and newspapers, movie tickets, movie rentals, AOL account reimbursement, cell phone monthly charge reimbursement, spa treatments, babysitters.
SUBMITTING THE EXPENSE REPORT FORM Out-of-town expense reports must be submitted within 30 days after completion of assignment (credit card or phone bills can be submitted later).
Receipts must be submitted in original form. Photocopies, faxes or copies received with credit card billing are unacceptable.