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CFOs Get the Darndest Expense Requests

There was an article in the WSJ with this headline.

Now that April Fools is over, I thought it may make a good question with a lot of room for levity.

Sooooo, what's the most bizarre reimbursement request you've seen?

Answers

Len Green
Title: Performance Improvement Consultant and E..
Company: Haygarth Consulting LLC
LinkedIn Profile
(Performance Improvement Consultant and ERP Strategist, Haygarth Consulting LLC) |

Consultant was out of town at a client, client asked him to join him at a black tie event one evening. He bought a tux and tried to claim $450 for it.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Should have rented it, it would have been paid :)

Anonymous
(Controller) |

Request for reimbursement for the cost of boarding a pet dog during travel.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

Not so crazy, depending on circumstances.... I'd put it the bucket of telling someone to take the next flight out... the ticket is a multiple of the normal rate...

Anonymous
(Director of Finance) |

We had an employee accidentally use his corporate card at a gentelmen's club! He realized it before the credit card bill came in, was utterly embarassed and reimbursed the company, but it is still a running joke in our department.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

I think we've all seen people use the wrong card, but I must admit, that one is a corker... :)

On the same vein I use to manage corporate apartments for model (male and female). One month the telephone bill was astronomical. When we looked at the details one of the male models was calling sex lines...

Restitution was extracted and banishment from the apartment ensued.

Bob Low
Title: Principal
Company: Perron & Low
(Principal, Perron & Low) |

1. Employee submitted expense for dinner with his wife. Told us she wouldn't have driven him to the airport unless he bought her dinner and that it was still less expensive than a cab or parking.
2. Employee charged an $800 bottle of wine. Said the client picked it out and she couldn't say no.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

1. Depending on the employee, maybe a one-time "pass"
2. It's very easy to say, "sorry, my CFO won't pay for this".... That's the employee's headache unless.... she just closed a major major deal, and that's also a one-time "pass".

Anonymous
(CEO/CFO) |

VP of Biz Dev funded a $3,500 dinner for only 7 people in NYC to pitch them on managing their money. We were a software company. "You're Fired!"

Jon Sortland
Title: CFO
Company: Verity Solutions Group, Inc.
(CFO, Verity Solutions Group, Inc.) |

Early in my career I was the General Accounting Manager for a large truck manufacturing company. One day, the Controller came to me with an expense report from the VP of Sales and asked me to process payment myself rather than pass it along to one of our AP Specialists, and also told me never to discuss this with anyone.

Turns out it was a bill for $25,000 for a now-defunct establishment called "Razzmatazz". There were about a dozen attendees, half from our company and half from a large customer. All men, no women.

Several weeks later, the headline on the front page of the company newsletter proclaimed, "Largest Fleet Order in Company History!!"

Money well spent.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

The value of the T&E/Advertising budget(s) :)

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

Remember that T&E and Marketing expenses reflect the VALUES of the company. There should be guidelines on how far an executive or sales person can go in pursuit of a client.

Case in point....Microsoft's dancing women in the recent GDC conference party.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

And the "how far" cuts across industries and geographical lines. It's sort of like the definition of pornagraphy; "I know it when I see it".

Gop Menon
Title: CFO Middle East & North Africa
Company: Thomson Reuters
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO Middle East & North Africa, Thomson Reuters ) |

Had a senior executive submit (1) wife's hairdressing bill and (2) helicopter tour of the city they were visiting as both were related to his PA's wedding

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

As Art Linkletter used to say.... "Exec's do the the darndest things..." :)

Ernie Humphrey CTP
Title: CEO & COO
Company: Treasury Careers
LinkedIn Profile
(CEO & COO, Treasury Careers) |

A few courtesy of Certify's Fourth Annual Expense Management Survey:
$35,000 for a dozen cases of wine, $25,000 for a house rental for one day, $20,000 for a private plane, $18,000 for a night out in Las Vegas, $4,000 for a bottle of champagne.

Anonymous
(Finance Director) |

Had the head of R&D, for a toy manufacturer, turned in receipts from Burning Man Festival and the Bodies exhibit . Actual ended up reimbursing.

Anonymous
(Controller) |

My CEO once given me an invoice from an individual to pay and the description of the service was "reimbursement for BOOP JOB", I went to the CEO to double check if the bill was correct, as it turned out she was the writer for a development show named so.

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