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Build Your Career Office Life

10 Most Outrageous Expense Report Claims

10 Most Outrageous Expense Report Claims . / Credit: Adam Gryko | Dreamstime.com

Pet food, lottery tickets and a teepee are just some of the shocking expenses that brazen employees are trying to pass on to their employer, new research shows.

A report from Robert Half Management Resources found that gas and dinners with clients aren't the only things ending up on the monthly expense report.

The survey shows chief financial officers have raised their eyebrows at more than a few questionable expenses.  Some of the most outrageous include:

  • 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

Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half Management Resources, said these items highlight the need for companies to write clear expense report policies that are easy for employees to understand, and closely monitor what is being expensed each month.

"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."

According to the study, a variety of personal expenditures were commonly cited by executives as questionable, including:

  • Grocery receipts
  • Cigarettes
  • Replacement of a suit the employee lost on his own
  • Socks
  • Toilet paper
  • Hot tub supplies
  • Golf clubs
  • Flowers purchased for a spouse
  • Expenses for a child's birthday part
  • Wedding anniversary dinner

The research was based on surveys of 1,600 U.S. and Canadian CFOs from companies with at least 20 employees.

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter before working in public relations. You can reach him at chadgbrooks@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @cbrooks76.

Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.

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