Reckless Driving in Virginia

Reckless Driving is a very serious moving traffic violation in Virginia.

A driver who is convicted of reckless driving will be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor which is a criminal offense punishable by a jail sentence, up to 4 days in jail, if the charge is speeding over 94 miles in a 55 mile zone. That driver might have their license suspended for a maximum of six month, which might incapacitate the means of transportation to and from work. If the type of employment is related to transportation such as a bus driver, a taxi driver or a truck driver then the Reckless Driving conviction can have dramatic results on the financial being of the employee.

Convicted drivers will also be assessed 6 Virginia driving penalty points on their driving record, where the point system in Virginia allows drivers to receive up to 12 points before their driver’s license is suspended. A suspension, that can be very difficult to remove, if the driver has received several offences within a one year period. In addition, court fees and fines might be in the range over $150 dollars, an amount that triggers a requirement to report traffic violations of all government employees that have an excess of $150 dollar penalty fees. Which will affect current and future employment, and might even affect clearances if applying for a government job. For government positions with secret clearance requirements the Reckless Driving conviction might be very damaging.

Insurance premiums will also be affected where car insurance might double due to the reckless driving conviction. In some instances and depends on the driving record insurance companies might drop their coverage, leaving drivers with one only choice of having to pay much higher premiums with other insurance providers.

The Stopped School Bus Conundrum

What’s so difficult about stopping for a school bus? It’s stopped. Its nifty little stop sign is hung out on its side. Its red lights are flashing. We simply stop and wait for it, right? After all, it’s carrying some of the most important cargo we possess as a society and said cargo isn’t always focusing on us or the traffic. So we stop. Besides, it’s the law, right? Or is it?

Hmmm! Well maybe. Kind of depends on where it’s stopped and which state of the union we may happen to be driving in. Is it safer to stop? Or will stopping immediately disrupt traffic flow and perhaps even get us rear-ended? Quite a bit of Googling has suggested that the Stopped School Bus conundrum may be a bit more vague than it would seem at first blush.

There are really only two reasons we should stop for a school bus. The first one is obvious. We don’t want to risk injuring those little cherubs who may be running to and from it. The second? “It’s the Law” and we don’t want to risk getting a ticket and a fine. For most of us, the first reason is the most important one. For others, it would seem that the second is reason enough. For (hopefully) a small minority of drivers, neither reason seems to matter much if at all.

In most cases, sorting out whether we should stop for this special vehicle is pretty straight forward. We’re bopping along on the same, two or four lane undivided street as is the bus. Suddenly it flashes Orange lights to warn us it is stopping, it slows, then it stops, flashing Red Lights. Whether the bus on our side of the road or on the other facing toward us, we should stop. Cool. How far away from the bus should we stop? Common sense will usually dictate but varying state laws will provide fairly stringent guidelines and state law does vary on the issue. Okay, but what if we’re on a multiple lane, divided highway? Well here again, if the bus is in front of us on our side of the highway, we’re obligated by both law and our own sense or morality to stop for the kiddies. State law seems pretty uniform on this one. If the bus is on the other side of that divided highway, however – it gets more interesting. If the bus is stopped on the opposite side of a divided highway, there really isn’t much risk to its cargo if you pass it on your side, but there may be risk to you if you stop. Other drivers driving with you might not expect you to stop. You will be inhibiting traffic flow (never a good thing), and at the very least, you might be offered some unfriendly hand gestures as other drivers buzz on by you.

In the divided highway scenario, there is much debate as to whether it is safer to stop or go but your State has probably provided guidance for you – and the State’s laws do differ. According to Wikipedia, New York State and Mississippi, definitely require a “stop and wait”, even if the bus buggy is on the other side of the divided highway. A quick peek at the New York State driver’s manual clearly confirms that you must stop. Alabama and West Virginia also require a stop, depending on the type of highway or the width of the divider.

For drivers in the rest of the states, a bus stopped on the opposite side of a divided highway, does not appear to restrict you from passing it. Obviously, you should pass with caution and a quick review of your state’s actual law is most definitely in order to confirm. (Don’t rely on Wikipedia for strict interpretation of State driving laws!)

How far from the bus should you stop? Again, the laws seem to vary from state to state, but somewhere between 20 and 100 feet seems to be the suggested distance. Not too much of a variance there! Here again, common sense and conditions would seem to dictate. Another stopped School Bus scenario can be more vague. The bus is at or near an intersection but it’s not on the street you’re on. It’s on the other, intersecting street, either to your left or your right. Hmmm again.

The first question at the intersection would seem to be “where is the bus”? Is it right at the intersection or further back on that intersecting road? If further back, “how far further back?”

If the bus is stopped right at the intersection, you obviously should not pass it. But what if you’re not actually passing it? Let’s say it’s on your right but you’re making a left turn. Did you actually pass it? Same question if it’s on your left and you make a right. You didn’t actually pass it did you? It appears to be a very grey area but discretion would be the better part of valor here. Few would fault you if you waited for the bus, but you could get nailed if you made the turn. Here again, it would seem that state law and even different judges could view the matter differently. Probably better to wait the minute or two and let the little cherubs do their thing.

Lastly, the lil’ old bus is on that side road but a bit further away from the actual intersection – where you are. How far down from the intersection is it stopped? I really couldn’t find anything which would clearly define how far from the intersection the bus would have to be, before you could legally pass it, but here again, a quick review of state regs would be in order.

Common sense would appear to dictate here also. If you need a pair of binoculars to see the bus, you’re probably good to go. The 100 foot distance might be a guideline here. I would certainly not pass the bus if it were within 100 feet. Over that range? You’re probably at the mercy of the traffic officer and the courts, and “somebody was honking at me” isn’t likely to get it.

As with any driving situation, one could always suggest safety over the law. We’re not suggesting anyone intentionally break driving laws here, but if I’m on a divided highway where traffic is doing sixty plus and obviously not stopping for the bus on the other side, I’m probably not going to risk causing a multiple collision by suddenly slamming on the brakes. On the other hand, if it’s the law in my state and I can safely stop, I’m certainly going to do so – and I’ll probably put on my four way flashers as a warning.

Bottom line? It’s not about the law. It’s about common sense. I’m not going to do anything to risk the future of those little citizens on or around that school bus. I’ll even take the hit to my rear bumper if I have too.

But it is very worthwhile to review local law and develop some guidelines to lean on, when you run in to the “Stopped School Bus” conundrum. When in doubt, stop – and always let common sense prevail. The risk is just too great if you don’t!

Charter Bus: Nevada for Conventions and Entertainment

Las Vegas in Nevada is known as the live entertainment capital of the world although Los Angeles is also claiming the title because Hollywood is located there. Nevada is also famous for its convention facilities with groups of people coming and going through Charter Bus. Nevada conventioneers find the state an ideal venue because of its numerous attractions and recreation possibilities.

Nevada enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine annually. The public lands of Nevada just outside the casino strip provide various types of outdoor recreation like biking and hiking or hunting and fishing. For people whose preference is indoor fun, there are cultural experiences, historic landmarks, spas and resorts in addition to the casinos. This is why conventioneers from every type of industry or group choose Nevada because the area offers something for everyone.

Must see places in Nevada are Las Vegas, Reno and Lake Tahoe, Cowboy Country, Silver Trails and the Indian Territory. During winter, Nevada provides excellent snow sports with its perfect powdery snow. There are numerous resorts in Lake Tahoe in the northern part of Nevada to visit or you can choose to go to southern Nevada to the Last Vegas Ski & Snowboard Resort. This is why it is best to plan your trip with a Charter Bus. Nevada charter buses will make you maximize the recreational opportunities of your convention group.

Throughout Nevada are numerous state parks with historical significance that offer visitors peace and serenity. For history buffs, there are state museums with ancient artifacts. One notable attraction is riding the restored Virginia & Truckee railcars at Carson City’s Nevada State Railroad Museum. Those who want pampering can do so at any of the luxurious spas found throughout Nevada.

Convention trip planning needs to incorporate special memories for the visitors. However, the planner must keep in mind that the main purpose of the delegation is to network with associates and possible business partners. Opportunities to mingle and meet other people must be provided in the itinerary, aside from attendance of the formal program and listening to the speakers.

When In Nevada, do not fail to visit Boulder City’s Hoover Dam – one of the best known of Nevada’s landmarks. Constructed in 1936, it is located between Lake Mead and the Colorado River, towering more than 720 feet and weighing more than 6 million tons. Millions of tourists from all over the world visit the dam every year.

Both glittering cities of Reno and Las Vegas welcome visitors to Nevada with flashing neon lights. Reno in northern Nevada is called the “biggest little city in the World.” On the other extreme is the 110,000 sq. mi. of desert, valleys, mountains, rivers and lakes found in Nevada. There are sand boarding and snowmobiling activities, fishing, horseback riding and hunting. It will not be as tiring when you are riding to your destination in a comfortable and spacious Charter Bus. Nevada trips can be exhausting if you are riding a compact car or a small van.

Itinerary planning should be based on the prevailing weather conditions during the days of the trip on the intended destination. As Nevada offers interesting outdoor destination as well as indoor attractions, there is no need to radically adjust the planned dates if the weather conditions do not permit outdoor activities. Sightseeing and good companionship can still be enjoyed while riding a Charter Bus. Nevada has lots to offer indoors and outdoors.

Why Should You Always Try and Stay in a Five Star Hotel?

Let’s be honest, not everyone can afford five star, which is why so many people book into three and four star hotels. But before you start shopping around and book the first affordable hotel you find, there are a few things you should really know about.

The first thing is that every country has their own hotel rating system, which means a five star in London is not necessarily the same as a five star hotel in Australia or the United States. Every country has it’s own rating system, which could result in some confusion. In the United Kingdom stars are awarded on facilities, service and customer service, In France they focus on the quality of the rooms and in Italy they focus on cleanliness. Which means knowing the star rating system in the UK can help you look for hotels in other countries offering the same facilities, services and customer service, even if they are not awarded with five stars.

In the United Kingdom, facilities and services are taken very seriously and any hotel which is lucky enough to be awarded a five star status, must provide guests with exploratory facilities and services. They must also have experienced, qualified and excellent staff who focus on providing guests with the highest level of customer service, working to exceptionally high quality standards at all times.

The hotel should provide the finest level of cleanliness, it should be well-maintained and offer the delivery of any services to the highest of standards. In most instances a five star hotel will provide you with some benefits such as a fitness center and on-site wellness center, which should provide you with a range of quality treatments provided by qualities therapists. In addition to this, the hotel should also provide you with a twenty our hour reception desk for added convenience.

It is always advisable when visiting a new city or country, to choose a five star hotel with a concierge service. The concierge has a wealth of local knowledge and experience. They can make recommendations and suggestions on what to see and do, they will book a taxi for you or assist you with public transport. They can also make theater bookings on your behalf or make dinner reservations at a top hotel, saving you time and energy and reducing what you need to do when on holiday.

Further, they should provide a butler service. If you have hired a suite and have guests coming to visit you for an evening meal, then a butler could be the ideal way to spend the evening, enabling them to handle the dinner, serve the meal and clear the plates, while keeping glasses filled.

Most five star hotels will have a choice of public areas. They should have a full on-site restaurant that serves evening meals and maybe even breakfasts, they should also have a lounge bar or relaxed area where you can sit and chill out, maybe with a coffee or dinner cocktail, light snacks should be served here during the day. In addition to this, they should also provide you with twenty four hour room service to quality as five star.

FAQS About Public Defenders

When you are learning about public defense, the first question you are likely to ask is, “What is a public defender?” So let’s not waste anytime answering this question, and many more frequently asked questions about public defense lawyers. A public defender is a criminal defense lawyer that works for the state and paid by the government. They provide free legal representation to defendants that are facing criminal charges that are punishable by jail time. Continue reading to read more common questions and answers just like this one!

Do Defendants Have to Pay for a Public Defender?

No, clients do not pay. However, a judge must decide that a defendant qualifies for public defense before one is appointed to them. In cases that a person is fully capable of paying for a private representation, they may be denied state assistance.

Is a Public Defender Less Qualified Than a Regular Criminal Lawyer?

No, both public defenders and private criminal attorneys are equally qualified in terms of education requirements, certifications, and licensing. The only difference is the level of skills and experience of each person.

Should I Use Public Representation or Hire My Own Lawyer?

Although public defenders are equally qualified doesn’t mean they are the most promising option for defense. Since they work for the state, their case loads are extremely rigorous and overflowing. This means they only have a limited amount of time to spend on each case. A private attorney can provide personalized representation to ensure you avoid the maximum penalties if convicted of your charges. Whether you are facing a petty charge like shoplifting, or a major charge like manslaughter, private counsel is the best choice, no matter the price. You can’t put a price on freedom, after all.

Can a Public Defense Lawyer Reject My Case?

If you are indigent and cannot pay your bills as they come due, it would be both unethical and illegal to have your case rejected since it is a violation to your Constitutional rights. Although a case can be handed over from one lawyer to another, it cannot be rejected and ultimately “skipped over” or denied. A person who is entitled to free representation will get it, no matter what.

Can I Request a New Lawyer?

If you are found to be eligible for state defense, you will be assigned a lawyer by the court. If this lawyer does not meet your expectations or recover the plea arrangement that you wanted, you do not have any options. Unless you can prove to a judge that your current lawyer is somehow violating your right to adequate representation, you cannot switch or be appointed a new one. Inadequate representation includes scenarios like missing appointments, failing to meet deadlines, forcing you to a certain plea, not informing you of case status and court dates, and ignoring critical evidence. And if you choose to appeal your conviction, you must hire private representation anyway, so asking to switch at that point wouldn’t be necessary.

Posted in Law

The Top 10 Benefits and Uses of Essiac Tea

Essiac tea is an alternative health drink that is getting a lot of attention lately. It’s a tea that is comprised of several herbal elements include burdock, rhubarb, elm bark, and many other elements. It has been traced to being a major drink of indigenous tribes in North America. Researchers have been studying the drink for some time, and it has been shown to help the body in a number of ways. Drinking this on a regular basis could very well help with the following 10 benefits.

Liver Health

The first major benefit is in regard to the liver. The blend of herbs helps with cleaning the liver of toxicity. It can flush toxicity through the liver, and process it through the urine. With this tea, some individuals may see a reversal of issues related to jaundice. Which is a disease of the liver. While it’s not a miracle cure, it does support liver function, enzymes, and the removal of toxicity that can end up traveling through the body’s digestive tract. It can help boost immune system, and waste management, with a boost to the liver outright.

Ease Constipation

For individuals that are dealing with bowel movement issues, specifically constipation, this tea can help. The herbs can help soften the stool, and can help bring through enough fiber to help with intestinal distress. This is an easy laxative to take as it works with the body’s natural systems. It’s not a chemical stimulant, or harsh fibrous element. The herbs help the body manage waste, and assist with constipation with ease. There is no pain, or issue when taking this tea, as it helps the body within a few hours of drinking it, assuming the individual is struggling with constipation.

Iron Supplement

Essiac tea has a few key vitamins and minerals. One of the most common is iron. Iron is a very critical part of the body’s natural systems. With iron supplemented through tea drinking, you’ll find that the proteins in the blood help form red blood cells, and even help with reversing anemia. This strengthens circulation, and assists with proper production of hemoglobin. Staving off anemia is a great thing, and can help people that are struggling with diet and exercise, get a small boost in the right direction. It helps directly with the circulatory system, promoting heart health.

Blood Pressure Regulation

Those dealing with blood pressure issues, specifically high blood pressure, will find that the tea can help with circulation. It can help with lowering pressure, and regulating heartbeat. Those that utilize this as a calming drink, will find that it can help with a variety of different elements in the body. It can lower pressure, and even help with stress. It begins working within the first time taking it, and works as one drinks more of it through several days. Studies have shown that in a few days, pressure can significantly drop to safer levels.

Bone Health

Much like calcium, this tea can help with bone health. While it’s not the same compound as calcium, it does help with strengthening bone structure, and delivers a powerful mix of vitamins and minerals that the body utilizes to strengthen bone structure. There is a calcium element in this, but not as much as milk, but enough to help boost the body’s natural resources to help with strengthening bones that are susceptible, or may be weakening from injury, or malnutrition.

Energy Boost

While Essiac tea is not caffeinated like a cup of tea, there is an energy level boost given to drinkers of this tea. It’s done through an increase of vitamin-C, and B elements. By helping the body’s natural systems get a boost in vitamins, waking up becomes easier, and getting a little natural energy delivers on the premise that coffee does, without the crash. That’s right, there’s no crash, there’s no sleepiness after drinking this, instead, energy becomes natural, without stimulants. It has a balance that works with the body.

Helps Digest Food

Having problems digesting food? Upset stomach? Nausea? Well, the benefit that this tea gives the digestive system is immense. It helps bring about the right pH levels of the body. By stimulating the stomach to produce the right enzymes, and bile production from the glands, you’ll find that digestion is much easier. That means that eating will not be a chore, and you’ll reduce heart burn, acid reflux, and much more. This helps by adding a helping hand to the stomach’s acid, so that it stabilizes a bit easier. It becomes easier to enjoy your favorite foods, that’s for sure.

Regulate Sugar Levels

While this is not a cure for diabetes, it has been shown to help with insulin production. It can help with insulin secretion, and management. This can help lower blood sugar spikes, and help keep levels lower, although it’s not a replacement for any diabetes treatment. It can help people that are susceptible to blood sugar spikes. This can also help with boosting the pancreas’s levels as well. For those that are diabetic, the tea can help with kidney function, and help with reducing toxicity. It helps with urination, frequency, and quantity as well.

Help The Skin

Researchers exploring the benefits of Essiac Tea have found that it can help with skin care. Used as a topical solution it can help with anti-septic, and anti-inflammatory elements. It also helps from the inside out, providing skin care elements, reduction of acne, and even fine lines. Those that are looking to help with the signs of aging will see a boost in overall skin care in a few days. It helps the body with hormonal secretions and balance, helping the skin heal from the rays of the sun, to the interior of the dermal layers.

Promotes Weight Loss

The last major thing that you’re going to find with this tea is that it helps with losing weight. By helping the body’s digestive system, you may get a boost of metabolic ratio. That means that you will burn calories, even when asleep. Pushing the metabolic rate is a great thing, and can lead to faster weight loss, and sustained management in time.

Strategies for Improved Efficacy of Construction Project Management Software

The ever-changing digital technology is gradually making life on earth easier and less hassle-free. Benefits of digitization encompass the construction industry as well. These days, a range of efficient construction project management software is readily available to make things easier for those, who are involved with the industry.

The assortment of software applications comes with many innovative features that help managing:

 All communication with your subcontractors and crew

  • Every electronic correspondence
  • Project schedules
  • Budget estimation
  • Timesheets
  • Site photos and much more

Extra spadework is required

However, if you’re planning to get such a helpful software tool to drive your projects to successful completion, here’s a word of caution! Just procuring construction project management software will not help you achieve your goal. After all, it’s not any magic wand that will do wonders. You need to do some extra spadework, like preparing a foolproof plan, regularly monitoring the work progress, facilitating personal interaction with both the stakeholders and team members. Moreover, it is important to take care of the cash flow to ensure your project(s) wind up on time. To put it in simple words, the more efficient you’re in handling your responsibilities in the construction industry, the more efficiency you can expect from the range of software tools.
The core competencies
Now, at this juncture you must be wondering if there’s any core competence of the modern software tools. As far as the building and construction industry is concerned, project management software applications help you in the following ways:

  • Accessing critical information right at your fingertips
  • Having everyone on the same plane, so that there’s no missed information or error
  • Alternative plans ready at hand to keep the workflow moving
  • Ensuring systematic progress of every project right from the word ‘go’
  • Facilitating communication with the peers, colleagues, stakeholders and team members even from remote locations

Considering all these benefits the range of software offers, it’s obvious that there’s hardly any necessity to rework on a module. Thus, project management software helps successful winding up of construction projects right within scheduled deadlines.

Just like any other commercial sphere, the construction industry too expects you to thread in the latest version of technology to achieve greater heights of success faster. However, you should have realistic expectations from technology to help your business grow bigger. Use the web to update your knowledge pool about the benefits these virtual resources offer. This will help you stay at-par with the best performers in the industry.

Types of Custom Promotional Merchandise

As a smaller business, you don’t have the unlimited budget of a large corporation when it comes to your custom promotional merchandise, which means you need to look for branded merchandise that is affordable and will work into your budget. Just because you are a smaller company, doesn’t mean you should ignore this amazing branding opportunity.

We have put a list of the top custom promotional merchandise options for the smaller business, that will work into your budget and provide clients with a branded item that they can use, boosting your brand visibility on a daily basis.

The first and probably the most popular of all the custom promotional merchandise that you can buy is T-Shirts. Ensure when you choose to brand t-shirts with your company logo that you choose a good quality garment, such as a polo shirt, which can be worn by men and women. Whether you are getting your team to wear the t-shirts to promote your business wherever they go or you are looking for promotional t-shirts you can give or sell to your clients, never ever compromise on quality.

Another great opportunity for the smaller business is branded pens. Everyone uses pens and they are cheap. You can buy a high volume of pens branded with your logo at a price that works into your budget and you can use them in-house and hand them out to clients, so that your company name is being seen throughout the day every day.

Further you may want to look at coffee mugs. Almost everyone has their own coffee mug at the office and drinks at least one cup of coffee while at work. The benefit of these mugs is that they are branded with your company name and logo, along with any other important information you want to put on them, what this means is every sip of coffee or tea your client takes, your name is seen and remembered, not only by them but the others in the office.

Key chains are another great branding opportunity when looking for affordable custom promotional merchandise. Have some key chains printed with your company name, logo, address and phone number. Clients can use the key chain on their keys and in the event they are lost, hopefully someone has contacted your company or dropped them off. In addition to branding these are a great opportunity to add a bit of added value to your service.

If you have a store, then you definitely want to look at reusable bags that your clients can take away from your store and use time and time again when they do their basic shopping. The great thing with reusable bags is that your clients can use them for anything and at any time and what that means is your company name is being seen by a variety of people every time your client leaves their home with your bag in hand.

If you are on a very tight budget, then take a look at lanyards. Lanyards hang around your neck, with your branding of course, but the benefit is that clients can use them to hang their access card for the office or even their keys to reduce the risk of losing them. They can be used for all types of applications, boosting your brand in the process.

Other options can include the credit card wallet, because these days with the number of credit cards, debit cards and loyalty cards you receive, they cannot all fit into your wallet easily. The credit card wallet can free up your clients purse or wallet, enabling them to keep all their cards in one handy place.

Brandz is a United Kingdom based company specializing in promotional products. This well-established company provides a complete turnkey service from the initial stages through to completion. They provide their customers with an experienced team who focus on helping their customers improve their branding with a range of promotional products to meet their requirements and marketing budget. Brandz offers a twenty four hour service, the highest quality products and affordable prices. Samples are available on request to help their customers identify the best promotional products to choose from based on the extensive range available on their easy to use and secure website.

Office Design for Improving Productivity

Sometimes, adding chalkboards and whiteboards can seem handy, but there is more than you can do to improve your office space. Here are just a few office design tips to help improve your overall productivity.

1. Idea Storage

One of the worst things that can happen for creative people is that they have a great idea but do not have anywhere to write it down, and they lose it. There is also the chance that you will end up doing a huge amount of research on a topic that you are not going to use. Whiteboards and notebooks are a great option for writing your ideas down, so you can continue to work on your main task for the day.

2. Remove the Clutter

It is important that you are regularly cleaning your office. Clutter comes from your creative mind working, but it can make focusing and getting your work done difficult. You should make sure that you have enough storage for all your items and that you have access to your most used objects.

3. Bring in Some Nature

We are biological creatures, so we should be spending some amount of time outside every single day. However, being inside all the time has a huge effect on our work. While it would be nice to spend a lot of time outside, for most jobs, this is not really possible. If you cannot take your work outside, why not bring nature to you? Try opening the shades and letting fresh air. This could help you feel more energized and help you get more done. Plants can also be a great option to add to your office, you just have to remember to water it.

4. Table and Chairs

We have all experienced having to sit at a table and having to consistently having to readjust to be comfortable, so we could focus on our work. This is why you should take the time to find a desk and chair that both fits your body and the way that you sit. This can take some adjusting to if you are working on an office where you do not have control over when items are ordered. If you are working at home, try to sit in chairs that you are thinking about buying for around 30 minutes to find out if they are comfortable for you.

Best Expense Management Solution By Thinking Outside The Box

This is how not to handle expense management in your business. Whilst a substantial part of managing expenses can be compartmentalized into how people make claims, and how those claims are processed, there are times when you’d benefit from thinking outside the box.

To illustrate the point, I’m going to look at telephones, the way your business uses them, and the way changing that can be part of an expense management strategy. Many years ago, in another life, I asked a senior manager how much he spent on line rental and calls for the fax machines in his business. He didn’t know, and asked his secretary to being in the relevant invoices.

She appeared carrying two large ring binders. Looking at them, he asked her for just the fax machine invoices. She pointed at the binders. “Those are the fax machine invoices,” she said.

He had no idea at the scale of the costs involved, and we immediately set about reducing them. And there’s the lesson: Show me any cost you’re not controlling, and I’ll show you an unnecessary expense.

Of course, fax machines are consigned to history with quill pens and carbon paper, but let’s stick with telephones; we still use those. Here are some areas in which you might be spending too much for mobiles, (and here’s the important part) without being aware of it.

1. Data roaming: Set up a company policy that it should be turned off except for short periods to allow emails to be delivered or sent, rather than being on 24/7. Data roaming charges can be high, and can mount significantly if you have a large number of employees travelling

2. Use one company: Don’t have a series of providers. Restricting services to just one allows you to negotiate better deals for new handsets and connectivity

3. Go for VOIP: For office phones there are lots of ways to use the internet to make calls, giving the traditional desktop phone a new lease of life. VOIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and means there’s no need to have a traditional phone contract, so long as you have good broadband connectivity. Providers of phone systems like this will usually deal with you on a rolling monthly contract, and their systems are extremely, so you can add or subtract handsets almost at will.

4. Be careful with perks. If employees are able to use company phones for personal use (and we’re back to mobiles here), then that permission should be restricted. OK, make short personal calls, but talking for hours to an aunt in Australia, or streaming a box set to a hotel room in Berlin could soon set you back a considerable – and unwelcome – amount.

5. Don’t leave legacies. When an employee leaves the company, make sure to cancel or transfer their part of the phone number, and don’t toss the handset into the back of a drawer. Re-use it, or send it for recycling _ once you’ve cleared any company data from it.

More than just number reduction

Consider the benefits that come alongside mobile phone use, and blurring the distinction between company and private life. When you’ve automated your expenses by implementing a solution based on business expense management software using an app, everyone’s going to need a phone so they can use your system.

Allowing an employee to make personal calls, to that agreed cost limit, might have a payback in loyalty. It might mean they’re more amenable to taking a work-related call out of hours, as part of a bit of give and take – but make sure that you track the benefit so that all the necessary tax is paid. There’s no future in saving money by cheating the taxman.

Applying this kind of thinking to all aspects of your business can make a significant difference to your bottom line, and be a useful ally to your business expense management software.