Ah, those wacky expense report requests — they’d be a lot funnier if they weren’t such a pain. The bad news: The number of those unacceptable attempts at reimbursement aren’t abating.
That’s the word from Robert Half, the management consulting giant, which asked CFOs across the country if they have seen such requests increase or decrease over the past three years. Almost nine in 10 (88%) said that they have seen either no change or an increase in inappropriate expense report requests.
Just 11% said they’d seen a decrease in these off-the-wall submissions.
Rental homes, a side of beef, a loan payment …
Just how wild can these requests get? Glad you asked. Here’s a listing from the Robert Half blog:
- A new car
- Rental homes
- A flat-screen TVsurveys
- Their monthly rent
- Loan payments
- Another employee’s salary (Huh?)
- A roll of toilet paper
- A doggie day spa
- Taxidermy services
- Dance classes
- A side of beef
- A welder
- Child care
- Baby products
- Family lunch
- Moving expenses for a family pet
- Dental bills, and
“These outlandish and sometimes funny examples shed light on what can be a serious problem for businesses. Inappropriate expense reports are costly – both to the company’s bottom line and to the careers of the people who submit them,” said Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources.
Hird added organizations should make the expense reporting process as simple as possible. “Ensure your policies are clearly communicated and accessible to all employees,” he said. “Take a big-picture view of the program. Is it spelled out completely? Are you using the latest tools available? Removing ambiguity can help reduce the number of problematic requests.”
The survey, developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm, was based on telephone interviews with more than 2,200 CFOs from a random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.