Good Reasons to Scrutinize Expense Reimbursements

Blog
January 23, 2012

Accounting Today has a slide-show of the most unusual items submitted on employee expense reports. The cojones of people to actually submit some of these is impressive but it serves as a fantastic reminder of why you should actually bother to look at the itemization on your employee expense reports. Examples cited include:

  • speeding ticket
  • repair costs for wrecking into a toll booth
  • movie tickets
  • socks
  • spa day (my personal favorite – it’s like they’ve been reading my email)

And many more entertaining entries. It’s all about the perception of detection people. If employees (or executives, for that matter) know you are looking closely at expense reimbursements, they won’t try to put stuff through like this. Expense reimbursement fraud is rampant in the workplace. Key tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure to get receipts (itemized ones and actually look at them)
  • Don’t accept photo copies of receipts  (if I photo copy one valid receipt 50 times – I can submit it 50 times)
  • Make sure the expense actually makes sense for what that person was doing and that the timing of the expense actually lines up with the timing of their project or travel.