Do your corporate travel expenses seem like a bottomless pit? You're not alone: an American Express survey found that from 1982 to 1992 alone, the average U.S. company's per-employee travel-and-entertainment expenses rose by 246%, to $3,113.

For some savvy tips on how to control such costs, try The American Express Guide to Corporate Travel Management (AMACOM, 800-262-9699, 1994, $29.95), by Jeffrey B. Lang, a cost-management consultant. Among the book's best sections are a chapter on how to negotiate with travel-industry suppliers (running the gamut from hotels and car-rental agencies to airlines that offer discounted fares) and a shrewd discussion of ways to accommodate cost controls in your general corporate culture.

Although there may be more specific details here than any manager needs to know, case studies and hypothetical examples help make this book readable. And for companies that decide to make travel-cost control a way of life, the 19-page resource directory included in the guide is well worth saving.

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