[FoRK] billing for travel days?

J. Andrew Rogers andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Fri Nov 14 17:22:37 PST 2008

On Nov 14, 2008, at 4:41 PM, Lucas Gonze wrote:
> Dear forkie, any suggestions on how I should bill for a day of travel
> on a consulting job?
> This is a consulting project on an hourly rate.  The client needs me
> to go to a meeting from 1-4 in norcal.  By far the majority of time
> for that will be spent dealing with the plane.
> Obviously I'll bill for travel expenses, but I'm not sure how to
> address the hours spent not in the meeting.  Anybody have experience
> that would shed light on standard practice?

I do not know that there is a 'standard' practice, I have seen it  
handled many different ways depending on the situation and the  
accounting practices/preferences of the client.

One method is to charge a premium rate for billable hours at the  
remote site.  Paying you to travel annoys many accounting departments,  
but a separate rate for offsite work is usually not a problem and fits  
most paradigms they use.  It is not direct compensation for your  
travel time, but it is a reasonable proxy and the hours you do bill  
can be directly related to productive activity.

I've had a few large clients that preferred to bury the travel  
expenses this way as well.  It is often less a matter of how much they  
have to pay you for an hour of work and more a matter of being able to  
predict what their bill will be.

J. Andrew Rogers

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