The weirdest things people have tried to expense on their boss’s dime

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The rewards of a good job are no longer just a number on your paycheck, but also the additional “perks” that come along with the gig. These perks can include everything from free food in the office to an expense account or company credit card.

Robert Half Management Resources, a finance and accounting staffing firm, decided to find out what employees are trying to expense on the company dime. To do so, the firm conducted phone interviews with 2,200 chief financial officers from 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

Some of the answers are rather surprising and almost unbelievable. Would someone really ask the company to buy them a dog or pay for a lottery ticket? Apparently they will. They’ll reportedly even ask to expense their home remodels and vacations.

In fact, the number of inappropriate expense requests appear to have been on the rise in recent years and only 11% of executives interviewed reported a drop in them. These are the 20 most eccentric employee expense requests the firm heard from these interviews.

  • Ski trips
  • Lottery tickets
  • Rental homes
  • Spa day
  • Cruise
  • Cosmetic surgery
  • Scuba diving
  • Half a cow
  • Flowers for spouse
  • A dog
  • Taxidermy
  • 10-cent parking meter charge
  • Toilet paper
  • Bubble bath
  • Somebody else’s salary
  • Flat-screen TV
  • Hair cut
  • Home remodel
  • Driving lessons
  • Car payment
  • The Consequences of Bizarre Expenses

It may seem that smaller expenses, especially things like a 10-cent parking meter charge, won’t even be a blip on the radar for big businesses. But these numbers add up and employee expense accounts can be detrimental.
“Inappropriate expense reports are costly – both to the company’s bottom line and to the careers of the people who submit them,” Tim Hird, executive director of Robert Half Management Resources, said in a press release. The firm recommends that companies clearly outline their policies on what is and isn’t covered on expense accounts.

As for employees, it’s a good idea to read these policies carefully or ask if you’re unclear about what you can claim as an expense — you don’t want to lose your job as a result an inappropriate request. Without a regular source of income, you face the risk of defaulting on loan obligations, incurring late fees on a slew of bills or worse. And any missed payments or high credit card balances as a result of unemployment will hurt your credit scores. You can see how your payment history and debt levels are affecting your credit by getting two of your credit scores for free each month on Credit.com.

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