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10 Crazy Work Expenses Employees Tried to Write Off

teegardin, Flickr

Expense reports usually have the standard boring stuff — hotel rooms, gas, cab fares, client dinners and the like. But Robert Half Management Resources has evidence of creativity within the work force.

Paul McDonald, senior executive director at RHMR, said that the more outrageous items highlight the need for companies to be clear about what can and can’t be written off, and also to closely monitor what employees are trying to expense.

“While these examples may seem incredible and in some cases humorous, they highlight a serious matter which can negatively impact a company’s bottom line,” McDonald said. “Employees who are unsure if an item can be expensed should not include it on a report and hope it gets approved.”

Here are just some of the items the 1,600 chief financial officers surveyed said workers tried to pass off as company expenses:

  • Cosmetic surgery
  • A trailer rental for a family reunion
  • A $12,000 family vacation
  • A speeding ticket
  • A fine for crashing into a tollbooth
  • Replacement of a lost cellphone in the office
  • Hotel charges for viewing adult movies
  • A day at the spa
  • A golf trip for the employee and his three friends
  • Video game console


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