General Inquiries

Per Diem and Travel Incentive Payments

  • 1.  Per Diem and Travel Incentive Payments

    Posted 08-06-2019 10:25
    ​​Hi all,

    We are currently reviewing our policies on timing of per diem and travel incentive payments.  I was wondering if I could hear some feedback from others on their policies.

    • How often do you pay per diems and travel incentives? (i.e. weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc.)
    • How far in advance do you pay them to the workers? ( 5 days ahead, 1 week, two weeks, etc.)
    • What happens if a worker leaves in the middle of a period covered by a payment already made?

    I appreciate your feedback!



    Tracy Hawthorne CPA
    Donley's Inc
    Valley View OH
    (216) 986-8447

  • 2.  RE: Per Diem and Travel Incentive Payments

    Posted 08-07-2019 08:05

    Our foremen take care of out of town lodging for their crews with a company credit card.  We pay meal per diems at $30 per day, as a non-taxable add to their paycheck for the week of travel (we do payroll weekly).  So no advances per se, although we on occasion do an advance for a new hire who is going out of town almost immediately, typically $100 or so.  This comes out of the person's next paycheck for the amount advanced no matter the length of travel.


    Robert McManus

    Chief Financial Officer

    Direct: 404.965.9349 

    Main: 404.361.5154 | Fax: 404.965.9355

    PO Box 45717 | Atlanta, GA 30320






  • 3.  RE: Per Diem and Travel Incentive Payments

    Posted 08-07-2019 11:01
    We pay per diem weekly, normally Mondays before noon.  We do that to make sure the employee actually showed up at the jobsite before we load his/her per diem card.  If a worker leaves during that week and we loaded the entire week, then we list it as an advance repaid and take it right out of their paycheck.  Many of the guys that leave like that are smart enough to clear their cards so we can't get it back off the card.  An advance deduction is our only option for recovery.

    John Newlon MBA CCIFP
    Chief Financial Officer
    Kelley Brothers Roofing, Inc
    Fairfield OH
    (513) 829-7717

  • 4.  RE: Per Diem and Travel Incentive Payments

    Posted 08-07-2019 12:00
    This is interesting. What kind of per diem card do you use? I had not heard of this option. We currently pay per diem weekly, added to the employee's paycheck.

    Michele McGrath
    Silverline Construction
    Gardena CA
    (424) 344-7908

  • 5.  RE: Per Diem and Travel Incentive Payments

    Posted 08-07-2019 12:22

    We go through Comdata.  We book the expenses to each job Monday morning and then jump on the Comdata website to 'gang load' everyone's weekly per diem amount all at once.  We have been doing this since 2012 and we rarely have any issues.  The guys have a toll free number to call and check their balances and previous transactions and there is never a fee to the company, even on employee overdrafts.


    The only caveat is it is not an instant transfer from your normal bank account to the cards.  The money has to be sitting in the Comdata account (Republic Bank I believe) in order to transfer to the cards.  So you need to plan about 2 days ahead to get the transfer to clear.  We typically just transfer a monthly estimated amount so we will only load once a month or so.  Below is our contacts data if you are interested in more info.  It works well for us, especially when the guys are sent to rural areas.  We actually started it when we were doing a job in South Dakota and the closest bank was about 45 minutes away.  We needed another option and this was it.  We even use it to load reimbursements for expenses and emergency funds.  Call me if you have any questions, or just check with Tammy.  Good luck!


    Tammy Armstrong| Account Manager, Prepaid Operations  | Comdata Corporation, A Trusted Independent Partner

    Phone/Fax: 615.376.8769 | 800.226.0042 ext-8769 |m: 615-426-7349



    John R. Newlon


    (513) 829-7717 v

    (513) 829-7737 f

    (513) 615-0063 c


  • 6.  RE: Per Diem and Travel Incentive Payments

    Posted 08-07-2019 11:31

    We reimburse PerDiem with payroll weekly, every Monday to ensure we are paying for the actual travel they incurred.  If an employee is unable to pay their hotel, we cover with a company credit card and then on Monday, we deduct from their Per Diem reimbursement.


    Kimberly M. (Beeler) Peterson

    Chief Financial Officer


    Direct: 262.252.7004 | Cell: 414.750.4444 | vCard

    N56 W16758 Ridgewood Dr. | Menomonee Falls, WI  53051


    Check out our NEW LOOK!


  • 7.  RE: Per Diem and Travel Incentive Payments

    Posted 08-08-2019 17:13
    1. Perdiem and mileage is paid weekly as part of payroll.
    2. We pay perdiem with payroll on the Friday after the work week ends (week ends each Saturday) so in essence almost a week later.. If an employee needs funds to make a jobsite transfer, we may do a cash advance (on exception basis). We then payroll deduct it since they will still be receiving "normal" perdiem. (The deduction washes with the weekly perdiem.)  For mileage, we confirm the employee arrived on the jobsite on Monday as scheduled. We then receive a listing of mileage to be paid on Friday's check.
    3. We typically don't prepay mileage or perdiem for this very reason. Some ee's have been known to not show up on time or quit when transferring between jobsites. If this does happen, we payroll deduct what we can from the final paycheck. The final check could have deductions for outstanding cash/perdiem advances, unearned mileage payments, personal visa charges, missing tools, etc. If the final check has already been paid, usually we let it go through, but we occasionally voided/collected the check and started over. Voiding has only been done a handful of times when the employee received $1,000+ mileage and never showed up.

    Ron Heemstra
    Sioux Center IA
    (712) 722-1662

  • 8.  RE: Per Diem and Travel Incentive Payments

    Posted 08-14-2019 11:24
    We pay per diem for meals and incidentals weekly through AP and direct deposit into their same bank account as payroll.  We receive an email request weekly from the foreman and it is routed to the Supt. for approval.   We receive the requests on Thursday or Friday and we submit the EFT for Monday payment.  The foremen know who did not show up the week before and they adjust the number of days the request for the next week. ​Our per diem rates range from $25-$50 a day.  If someone leaves and we catch it, we deduct the overpayment from last pay check.

    Sandra Davies CCIFP
    Landmark Construction
    North Charleston SC
    (843) 552-6186

  • 9.  RE: Per Diem and Travel Incentive Payments

    Posted 08-15-2019 11:48
    The company I currently work for pays lodging, etc for employees via company credit card, but when I worked for a company that did pay daily per diem, we added it to the payroll for the week worked, so essentially, they received per diem a week after the fact.  That company used to sometimes pay out in advance for the first week and then take a payroll deduction (sometimes spread over a 2-4 week period) but we got burned too many times.

    Loretta Kuust
    HP Civil Inc
    Stayton OR
    (541) 720-0527