When Employee Expense Report Requests Go Bad

When Employee Expense Report Requests Go Bad

When Employee Expense Report Requests Go BadWhen Employee Expense Report Requests Go Bad

These outlandish—and sometimes funny—examples of expense report items actually submitted by workers shed light on what can be a serious problem for businesses.

Judgment IssuesJudgment Issues

Nearly one-quarter of CFOs said they’ve seen inappropriate expense report requests increase over the past three years, compared to just 11% who said such requests are on the decline.

Outrageous Expense Reports: Auto ZoneOutrageous Expense Reports: Auto Zone

Some employees have attempted to expense personal vehicle payments or repairs—and one form was submitted to get reimbursed entirely for a new car.

Outrageous Expense Reports: ‘Are You Entertained?’Outrageous Expense Reports: ‘Are You Entertained?’

Workers have tried to get comped for flat-screen TVs, and others have asked their company to pay for their dance classes.

Outrageous Expense Reports: Animal KingdomOutrageous Expense Reports: Animal Kingdom

CFOs have actually seen the following show up on reimbursement submissions: “doggie day spa” costs and taxidermy charges.

Outrageous Expense Reports: Financial BurdenOutrageous Expense Reports: Financial Burden

Some staffers have used reimbursement forms to attempt to get a loan approved, and some have used these forms to try to pay their rent.

Outrageous Expense Reports: Got a Beef?Outrageous Expense Reports: Got a Beef?

One employee literally bought half a cow and asked his company to pay for it.

Outrageous Expense Reports: Double DippingOutrageous Expense Reports: Double Dipping

Another listed this as an expense item: A colleague’s salary.

Outrageous Expense Reports: Nominal ChargeOutrageous Expense Reports: Nominal Charge

A worker actually submitted a form to get reimbursed for a parking meter charge—totaling ten cents.

Best Practices: Establish a Formal PolicyBest Practices: Establish a Formal Policy

Until you specify what’s acceptable and what’s not in writing, some staffers will attempt to take advantage of the lack of guidelines.

Best Practices: Encourage Employees to AskBest Practices: Encourage Employees to Ask

Cultivate an environment in which your employees feel free to ask about questionable items before filling out the form.

Best Practices: Apply the ‘Grandma’ TestBest Practices: Apply the ‘Grandma’ Test

Advise team members to ask this question before requesting compensation for anything that’s a bit fishy: “Would you submit this report to your grandma?”

Dennis McCafferty
Dennis McCafferty
Dennis McCafferty is a contributor to CIO Insight. He covers topics such as IT leadership, IT strategy, collaboration, and IT for businesses.

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