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MBB: Per diem vs. individual expensing

BCG germany MBB McKinsey
New answer on Jan 19, 2024
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Jan 16, 2024

I've heard there are different ways in how the expense systems work across the different MBB's in Germany.

How do these specifically differ? What are typical benefits / per diem's one can expect here across the different firms? Do they end up making a big difference? Is that an opportunity to make some more savings on the side, if you don't end up using all the per diem.

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Hagen
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updated an answer on Jan 19, 2024
#1 Bain coach | >95% success rate | interviewer for 8+ years | mentor and coach for 7+ years

Hi there,

I would be happy to share my thoughts on your question:

  • First of all, while the amout of per diems ('Verpflegungsmehraufwendungen' or 'Verpflegungspauschale') is regulated by law, the expense systems in MBB in Germany seem to vary, even if I cannot go into more detail.
  • Moreover, however, this will not make a big difference either way, and your focus should be on first securing an offer and then getting promoted, as that lever is clearly a lot higher.

You can find more on this topic here: Salaries in the consulting industry.

If you would like a more detailed discussion on your specific situation, please don't hesitate to contact me directly.

Best,

Hagen

(edited)

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Cristian
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replied on Jan 17, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

The differences in expensing are not significant within the same region because each firm is trying to extend the benefits that are given to candidates within the confines of the fiscal law. 

So, within Germany, they all stick to the amount that I could genuinely offer you. 

There are much bigger differences between regions, however. Basically, the benefits you'd have in the US vs Germany vs Singapore are wildly different. 

If you're joining consulting soon, you might find the following article helpful. It's a synthesis of tips of how to make the most of your start in consulting:


Good luck!
Cristian

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Florian
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replied on Jan 17, 2024
Highest-rated McKinsey coach (ratings, offers, sessions) | 500+ offers | Author of The 1% & Consulting Career Secrets

Hi there,

As far as I know, all run on per diems that are paid out regardless of your actual expenses in Germany (legally mandated) but happy to be corrected. These per diems are different based on the country you are staffed in.

There are specific rules on top of that based on your position but this is not paid out but only used in case you spend it.

Can you use it for saving? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It depends on the location, other team members' expense policy, etc.

I would not factor this in though. Ian is correct.

Cheers,

Florian

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Alberto
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replied on Jan 17, 2024
Ex-McKinsey Associate Partner | +15 years in consulting | +200 McKinsey 1st & 2nd round interviews

Hi there,

Regardless of the approach, any of those would make a huge difference in your income. Both mechanisms are design to cover your expenses while traveling and make your life easier, not making your to earn more money. 

On the other hand, salary and other benefits are attractive enough compared with other consulting firms for not needing per diems to make the difference.

Best,

Alberto

Check out my latest case based on a real MBB interview: Sierra Springs

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Ian
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replied on Jan 17, 2024
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Please refocus your energy.

When you get to the firm, ask them. You're already getting excited about making 2% extra money from MBB before you have an offer?

Not sure what the point of focusing your time/energy on this is, before you have an offer…

Stay focused on what matters!

And, by the way, when you're there, put all that effort into getting promoted…to then double your salary and double it again.

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Hagen gave the best answer

Hagen

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