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Find The Boots

Rantings from a few corporate types about life, technology, travel, guns, politics, and everything good in the world.

NYT: Tools Can Catch Expense-Account Padders (and Make Filing Easier)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Here's the article, I'll wait while you read it.

Tum te tum de dum.

Money quote proving that these guys simply do not understand the business expense acccount warrior:
The employee who buys a big flat-screen TV, supposedly to hold conferences in his home. Or a manager who tries to lay off the costs of his daughter's wedding by inviting business clients to the marriage. We've seen all that — and more.

I think we know that's all out of bounds. Besides, that dang TV would be like the Tell Tale Heart, while the memory of a chili crab dinner in Singapore with, perhaps, one too many bottles of not-quite-cold-enough beer will be lovely forever.

My other favorite quote:
The padding can get positively exotic if the traveler takes advantage of foreign currencies on, say, a trip through Southeast Asia and submits pumped-up chits for cash purchases in unreadable Thai or Cambodian script. That can happen if an employer does not prohibit reimbursement for cash expenditures and approves only credit card purchases (converted to dollars at the interbank rate that day).

Now, two things here:

1> Thanks for telling everyone who didn't already know that your expense department can't read Thai. (Note: be careful with expense receipts from India. Not that this has ever been a problem for me!)

2> And once again proof that people who manage expenses don't travel. If you're in the freaking boonies of the Punjab you darn well better have plenty of cash.

Final thought: love these kind of systems (when they work) because they actually make doing expenses easier. And they'll never find the boots that way!


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  • At 1:27 PM, Blogger ExpenseJedi said…

    Another trick: Since the entire world uses cash registers meant for the US market, many places have dollar sign in front of the numbers on a receipt. So a 150.00 rupee lunch in Delhi becomes a $150.00 dinner...

  • At 1:42 PM, Blogger Seat 1A said…

    Is there a correlation between how hard companies try to enforce expense rules and how much employees try to game the system? I think employers that try to lock everything down just encourage their employees to look for loopholes.

    A widescreen TV is pretty out of hand, but is it really worth it to spend $50 processing an expense report so you can catch the employee on a $5 variance?

  • At 7:23 PM, Blogger BoonDoggie said…

    Good points.

    The thing that really strikes me is that our expense department chooses the silliest stuff to get stuffy about.

    I had to buy some new AAA batteries for my MP3 player in France last month so that I could workout without listening to CNN in French, and they disallowed it.


    I figure the cost of those $5 batteries was in the hundreds of dollars.

    They never did find the boots.


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