Finance News & Insights

The 20 most outrageous things employees expense – the latest list

They’re still at it! Employees continue to think your company will reimburse them for things from wacky to outright outrageous.

The folks at Robert Half have compiled a new list of what employees are trying to push through now. We suspect only one of them may have gotten paid (though not without a lot of eye rolling).

Take a look at the latest list, then share with your Accounts Payable team for a good chuckle:

  1. Pearls
  2. A propane tank exchange
  3. A pogo stick
  4. A cow
  5. Jet ski rental
  6. Superbowl tickets
  7. A bear rug
  8. A motorcycle
  9. 59 cents for parking
  10. A statute of a chicken in a top hat
  11. A yacht
  12. $500 cowboy boots
  13. Moving a horse trailer
  14. Invoices for another company
  15. Traffic tickets
  16. A trip to Italy
  17. Video games
  18. Kids’ clothing
  19. A hot air balloon ride, and
  20. A Lamborghini

Chances are not a single one of those things (with the exception of No. 9) is allowable under your company’s T&E policy.

But are you confident your policy is as clear and thoroughly articulated as it could be?

7-point checklist

Use this checklist to see if your policy has all the essentials recommended by the travel experts at Certify:

  • Introduction. Spell out the policy’s purpose. It’s a great place for a disclaimer (i.e., policy is comprehensive, but not infallible). Also, prompt employees to use their best judgment.
  • Responsibility and authorizations. This section covers everything that happens before folks hit the road. Is pre-trip approval needed? Must employees provide an estimated total trip cost?
  • Duty of care. Safety is an important issue and should be addressed in your policy. List all documentation employees must give the company (contact info, trip itinerary, travel insurance, etc.) for safety reasons. You’ll also want to address any specific laws or company standards they must adhere to while traveling.
  • Reimbursable and nonreimburseable expenses. To prevent out-of-policy purchases, it helps to list concrete examples of which types of expenses are acceptable and which aren’t.
  • Partnerships. If your company uses specific booking channels, airlines, hotels, etc., add them (along with specific discount rates or terms they should know).
  • Expense report and reimbursement process. Here’s where to offer details on expense report standards, deadlines and cycle times.
  • Policy exceptions. Separate rules may be added for execs, frequent travelers or long trips. Just be careful all exceptions are carried out consistently.
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