When Employee Expense Report Requests Go Bad

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 04-11-2016 Email

Could any task inspire more tedium than a marathon review of expense report submissions? You scroll and scroll—and scroll some more—with your eyes glazing over at the 25th request to get comped for a Big Mac value meal. Then, suddenly, something totally off-the-wall catches your attention—like an attempt to get reimbursed for a flat-screen TV. Or a new car. Or a side of beef. Yes, believe it or not, these are "real" expense report requests that "real" employees have made, according to a recent survey of CFOs from Robert Half Management Resources. Combined, the following "outrageous" filings clearly demonstrate that certain professionals feel that "the sky's the limit" in filling out these forms. They also speak to an overall increase in inappropriate expense report items in general (outrageous or not)—a trend that CIOs and other managers could help reverse by establishing clearly communicated policies, among other recommended best practices from Robert Half. "These outlandish and sometimes funny examples shed light on what can be a serious problem for businesses," said Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. "Inappropriate expense reports are costly—both to the company's bottom line and to the careers of the people who submit them." More than 2,200 CFOs took part in the research.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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