Finance News & Insights

Yes, they actually tried to expense these things

No doubt you and your staffers have seen some questionable expense reimbursement requests cross your desks. And we’ve highlighted some pretty outrageous ones in the past. But folks just keep on trying to slip things through.

The folks at Oversight Systems scoured trillions of transactions for both the corporate and government sector and ID’d the top 10 Interesting Expense Awards in 2018.

Did they really think they’d get away with these?

If ever there was a case to make sure your A/P staffers scour those expense reports and ask plenty of follow-up questions, Beverly Kays, Client Engagement Manager at Oversight Systems, makes it with these “awards”:

  1. Most Unusual Client Gift Award: Sales reps have been known to golf with clients for ages. But how about yoga class? That’s what one rep expensed – along with a Lululemon sports bra.
  2. Most Enterprising Award: This is not the profit-focused mindset you’re looking for. One employee expensed $99,000 worth of Lenovo computers using the corporate discount … which he then resold for a hefty profit.
  3. You Look Marvelous Award: $69 eyelash extensions? A necessary and qualifying business expense said this employee.
  4. Smoke and Mirrors Award: Smoke a pack a day and it’ll cost you $9,200 a year. Guess that’s why this employee disguised his cigarette purchases as “fuel” and submitted them with his expense reports.
  5. Big Spender Award: We thought Staples and OfficeMax had the office supply markets cornered – this employee racked up $2,500 in office supplies from a CVS Pharmacy in just four weeks. Spoiler alert? They were all personal expenses.
  6. Smoke Them if You Got Them Award: Guess this employee didn’t see the No Smoking sign when he purchased a $699 grill and expensed it as a business purchase.
  7. Fuel is Fuel Award: Something didn’t seem right when an employee who hadn’t rented a car was expensing large amounts of fuel. Turned out they meant an “alternate” fuel: beer and cigarettes.
  8. Where Did I Leave My Car Award: A little time on Google maps could have saved this company some money. This employee had been submitting the same altered receipt for a parking deck that no longer existed.
  9. Wine is Everything Award: Well technically they were grapes, but this employee expensing her wine as a “snack” seems like a reach, even though she claimed she “wanted to save the company money by not having wine at dinner.” Only thing? She still had wine with dinner.
  10. Need to Survive Award: You have to appreciate the survival instinct? One employee, was so afraid that the world was going to end last year that he ordered a series of doomsday preparation books and submitted for reimbursement.


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