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    Expense account mis-use-gctid813086

    I know y'all have your boats in the water, but heres an attempt for some levity.

    I was just reading a collection of mis-used expense account attempts. Please add some. Make them actual attempts and the result.

    In a company I worked for, I was an engineering tech. On day at lunch at a small restaurant, two engineers who were responsible for a rather large project had a conference of a high tech nature. They pulled out ball point pens and drew diagrams in the table cloth to illustrate their point. They resolved the issue. They bought the tablecloth, and turned in the receipt. The controller came down to them and were shown the tablecloth. He took the $5 out of his pocket and paid the guy. l heard that 15 years later, the company moved and some newcomers questioned a tablecloth locked up in the company vault. (It did contain info which was proprietary at that time it was scribbled on.)

    Back in the 60s I worked for a large communications company. They sent you to 6 schools on their equipment which had to be completed in your first year. In a city, way away from your home, its understood that , say, you go to a gym at home, it would be reimbursed if you had to pay for one while away. Just get a receipt. They even had a form for paying pout without a receipt, such as airport porters, taxi tips, etc. BTW, this was before credit cards were widespread. This guy in our class, rented a working girl, and she charged him $25, so he expensed it. No receipt. Upon being challenged, he said "she didn't give me one." He was placed on leave. However..... the union got involved. That Friday, NATIONWIDE, if the issue was not resolved, the whole country company would go on strike, so they collected out door keys. It got settled by filling out that form, and he was told not to do it again.

    A large company at the Vegas consumer electronics show. One of our sales guys went into the gambling area with his big time client. He lost a bit over a grand. He expensed it out. The chief accountant called him in and asked him how much he sold the client that night? He said about 20 mil. His gambling was paid for.

    Same guy same client. the sales guys went to a "gentlemen's club". They spent $500 on booze, lap dances and tips. Again, he sold millions to the client, so it was paid.

    At the same company, the chief accountant was ordered to "watch" the expanse account and report. He found a lot of mis-use and reported it. Mostly from the vice-presidents. Nothing was done....

    This one is not a mis use of expanse account, but the company above had some issues with employees. Several of the V P s had "girl toys" (I am sure you know what I mean) and after a while, the relation went bad. So the girls quit and sued the company which cost somewhere up in 5 figures that year. Now, the company was stockholder owned, and there were quarterly "cash flow" statements to the stockholders. I wondered where they hid the payouts in that sheet. "Past employee benefits"

    c'mon, guys. You must have ones which would top the ones above.
    Captharv 2001 2452
    "When the draft of your boat exceeds the depth of water, you are aground"

    #2
    This was not misuse but it took forever to explain and get reimbursed.

    Hotel rooms in different cities on the same night:

    In the early 90s I was a Sales Director at a large aerospace company. I had flown to Santiago Chile to attend an Airshow called FIDAE (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIDAE). I was supposed to be there for a week and was scheduled to return home on Saturday morning. My scheduled return was on AA: Santiago - Buenos Aires - Miami, Miami - Los Angeles. While in Santiago, I got a call from the president of an airline in Argentina. He wanted to meet with me to further discuss a proposal I had made to the airline for the purchase of a few airplanes.

    I decided to leave Santiago on Thursday, meet with him on Friday, and fly home from Buenos Aires on Saturday. This is when the fun began. I figured that it would be easy to use my ticket and have AA rearrange my reservation to fly the leg to Buenos Aires on Thursday and the leg to Miami on Saturday, as originally scheduled. Not only would they not do this, but they told me that they were fully booked for a few days (a result of the airshow); any change in my reservation would result in me being dropped from the Saturday flight home. My company's corporate travel department checked around and found that all flights from Buenos Aires to the US were fully booked for a number of days. Grudgingly I decided to fly to Buenos Aires on a different airline on Thursday, fly back to Santiago on Friday, and fly home on my original Santiago - Buenos Aires - Miami flight on Saturday.

    I then went to the hotel registration desk in Santiago. I asked if I could check out on Thursday and get another reservation for Friday night. I was told that the hotel was fully booked for a number of days and there was a waiting list. If I checked out early, I could not get a room for Friday night. Other hotels in the area had the same situation: no rooms available for days.

    So I did not check out from the Santiago hotel. I flew to Buenos Aires on Thursday and got a hotel there for one night. I met with the airline execs on Friday, flew back to Santiago that evening, stayed at the Santiago hotel Friday night, and flew home from Santiago on Saturday. The end result was that I paid for a hotel room in Santiago, as well as one in Buenos Aires for Thursday night.

    When I got back I submitted an expense report with the above explanation. It kept being rejected and moved up the ladder in my company's travel accounting department. I took me weeks of written explanations, phone calls, notes from my regional Sales VP, etc, for my expenses to be reimbursed.

    In the end it was worth it. After many more flights and hard negotiations I succeeded in selling a number of airplanes in Argentina.
    1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
    2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
    Anacortes, WA

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      #3
      Very inappropriate expenses:

      For many years my wife was a director of finance in a large aerospace company (not the one I worked for). One of her responsibilities was Travel Accounting. This was in the non-computerized days, when companies had a large group of accounting clerks.

      One day, a manager that worked for her came to see her with a newly hired accounting clerk in tow. The accounting clerk was originally from Holland and fluent in Dutch. She had been working on an expense report and noticed a suspicious receipt. The employee in question had traveled to Amsterdam. He had turned in a receipt for dinner with a number of people from a customer. The receipt was not itemized. The accounting clerk felt the name on the receipt was not that of a restaurant; rather, it appeared to be the name of a brothel.

      Since the clerk spoke Dutch, my wife asked her to call the phone number on the receipt and verify the type of business it was. Indeed it turned out to be a brothel. Further investigation revealed that the employee had been turning in similar receipts for years. He had been enjoying himself at brothels on the company's dime and claiming the expenses were for taking customers to dinner. A couple of days later he was escorted out the front gate by the company's security people.
      1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
      2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
      Anacortes, WA

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        #4
        When I was a department manager in 2000, took a trip to Rio for a conference. I was crossing an intersection of a side road and the Ipanema beach road and saw a guy kill a woman in a white Mercedes stopped at the light. He looked up at me and started to bring his gun up. Started running and got behind a garbage truck but he kept following me and shooting at me. People in their fancy homes were trying to get me to come inside but I just kept running until I got to the hotel down the beach. The conference had a cop and a translator stationed in the hotel. After assuring me that this does not happen in Rio (translator), the cop started talking and the jist was, if I stay in Rio the guy and his buds would kill me OR I would be held as a material witness...for an unspecified time. Suggested I leave immediately. Airline would not change my ticket so I called another airline and bought a very expensive first class ticket (only seat available) one way back to the states. Immediately packed and went to the airport where I waited close to cops for 12 hours. Never thought those white farmhouses of Ohio could look so good!

        The memo requesting reimbursement was the most interesting I've ever written. No argument, though. Promptly paid.

        True story. Never been back to Brazil and don't plan to. FBI friend says they may still want me as a witness...

        Inappropriate expense? Maybe. If my employer ever wants the money back, I'll pay it.
        Bayliner 195 Bowrider 2013 4.3l 220hp MPI
        Alpha 1, Gen II
        2019 F-150 3.0l Powerstroke Crew Cab 4WD
        Albany, Ohio

        MMSI: 338234042

        King of retirement. Finally got that last promotion.

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          #5
          Many years ago, an accountant at a major company that I worked for described the following situation. A very senior technical staff had taken a trip from New York to Minneapolis for an important meeting. Upon arrival there it started to rain heavily so he purchased a rain coat. Upon completion of his trip he submitted his expense report in which he explicitly listed the raincoat and included the store receipt. The report bounced back from the accounting department stating that the raincoat was not an acceptable business expense. They returned his report back so he filed the report again, this time without the rain coat. However, the bottom line (total) expense amount was the same! He even added a comment, saying "see if you can spot the raincoat now!".

          I don't know how the story ended.
          Retired, computer expert / executive
          Bayliner 285 Cruiser / Mercruiser QSD 4.2L 320 HP Diesel
          Live in the Bay Area, CA, USA, boat in Turkey
          D-Marin @ Turgutreis in Bodrum/Turkey
          [email protected]
          [email protected]

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            #6
            A co-worker and I were scheduled to fly from Tokyo to Melbourne, Australia. We decided to be very careful to use up all of our Yen and had about 650yen (about $6.50) between us. We went to the Tokyo train station with the intention of taking the Narita Express to the airport. We got to the platform and waited, and waited, and waited. Finally there was an announcement that there had been an accident and there would be a "delay". We headed for the taxi stand and, having only a credit card, went down the line looking for a driver to take us to the airport. The fifth taxi driver agreed, but when he got out he moved like Tim Conways old man, then, things didn't improve as the car started moving. However, once he got on the freeway, we realized he had lead feet. We were only 15 minutes later than if we would have been on the train. The fare, however, was $220 plus the $80 for the train tickets we had purchased. When we filed the trip expense report, we had to explain our decision to our director. When we explained the why and the alternatives, he understood there was really no choice and it was approved.
            P/C Pete
            Edmonds Yacht Club (Commodore 1993)
            1988 3818 "GLAUBEN”
            Hino EH700 175 Onan MDKD Genset
            MMSI 367770440

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              #7
              Boy do I have stories:

              1) Manager sets up a fictitious transportation company and bills us for over $100,000 in bogus moved before being caught.

              2) Manager and RM dispose of toxic assets (acceptable). They were being given a $200 cut per unit. Not acceptable. That tab was over 70K.

              3) Manager used company VISA to refurbish his RV.

              4) Manager misuses Home Depot account to the tune of about 40K.

              5) Manager purchases all new entertainment system at Best Buy.

              6) Manager "moves" into the office (basement). Sets up cable and everything.

              7) Manager sells a company truck to his father-in-law for $200. An Dodge 2500 4x4. AFTER putting about 6K into the truck. Then has the father-in-law sell it to him.

              8) Manager purchases a golf cart. Golf cart found on his personal property.

              9) Manager sells a few dozen units under the table. Sales receipt is signed "Lenny Kravitz".
              Phil, Vicky, Ashleigh & Sydney
              1998 3055 Ciera
              (yes, a 1998)
              Previous boat: 1993 3055
              Dream boat: 70' Azimut or Astondoa 72
              Sea Doo XP
              Sea Doo GTI SE
              Life is short. Boats are cool.
              The family that plays together stays together.
              Vice Commodore: Bellevue Yacht Club

              Comment


                #8
                "itsabowtime2" post=813229 wrote:
                Boy do I have stories:

                1) Manager sets up a fictitious transportation company and bills us for over $100,000 in bogus moved before being caught.

                2) Manager and RM dispose of toxic assets (acceptable). They were being given a $200 cut per unit. Not acceptable. That tab was over 70K.

                3) Manager used company VISA to refurbish his RV.

                4) Manager misuses Home Depot account to the tune of about 40K.

                5) Manager purchases all new entertainment system at Best Buy.

                6) Manager "moves" into the office (basement). Sets up cable and everything.

                7) Manager sells a company truck to his father-in-law for $200. An Dodge 2500 4x4. AFTER putting about 6K into the truck. Then has the father-in-law sell it to him.

                8) Manager purchases a golf cart. Golf cart found on his personal property.

                9) Manager sells a few dozen units under the table. Sales receipt is signed "Lenny Kravitz".
                That sounds like what used to happen in both the K-Mart and Woolco Department stores I grew up near in the south end of Calgary. Sadly, most of them got away with it.

                One of the biggest was writing off furniture and electronics as damaged, then write a receipt in someone else name, pay for it and take them home. While this isn't exactly expense account related, it is mis-use of company funds. To me, those are the same issues.
                "B on D C", is a 1989 2459 Trophy Offshore HT, OMC 5.7L, Cobra OD, Yamaha 15hp kicker. Lots of toys! I'm no mechanic, just a blue water sailer and woodworker who loves deep sea fishing.
                MMSI: 367637220
                HAM: KE7TTR
                TDI tech diver
                BoD Puget Sound Anglers North Olympic Peninsula Chapter
                Kevin

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                  #9
                  Here's another one I just remembered. my boss got sent to Spain to quote a new radio system. He had a company AE card. On the way back to the hotel, he stopped at one of those roadside open air diners and had a pizza with a small bottle of wine. The owner/waiter/cook gave him a bill of 2200 pesos, and according to my boss at that time, that was about $15 in American dollars. He signed the receipt and came back here.

                  About a month later, he gets a call from accounting. They asked him how he spent $2200 DOLLARS for one meal. He went and got his receipt and told them it was pesos. They called AE and they said the restaurateur (Bandito) gave them an itemized invoice showing how he had a party of 20; they all had Pizzas and a bottle of wine, and another bottle to take home. AE said they would take care of this. They sent a representative in Spain to where the roadside diner USED to be. It vacant. AE credited his account and my boss was off the hook. OH, yes. The radio system quoted was for the local police....
                  Captharv 2001 2452
                  "When the draft of your boat exceeds the depth of water, you are aground"

                  Comment


                    #10
                    A friend bought a restaurant and ran it seemingly without incident for 10 years. The head chef retired, they threw him a party, and my friend hired a personal friend as the new head chef. A week later the new head chef reported that all the food delivery people were expecting kickbacks from him.

                    Apparently the previous head chef had had an elaborate embezzling scheme set up. He would order (say) 100 pounds of prime rib, paid for of course by my friend's restaurant. 80 pounds would be delivered to my friend's restaurant. 20 pounds would be delivered to another restaurant. The head chef would then visit the other restaurant when he was off, and the owner would pay him cash for the 20 pounds (below-cost, but the head chef didn't care since he wasn't the one paying for it). Next food delivery, the head chef would pay the delivery persons a cut for helping run this scheme.

                    10 years. Nobody caught it because the delivery people were handing in manifests which matched the billing invoices. They were just secretly keeping part of the delivery inside the truck to give to the other restaurants. And nobody thinks to weigh a delivery to insure it actually does contain 100 pounds of steak like the manifest says.
                    1994 2556, 350 MAG MPI Horizon, Bravo 2

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                      #11
                      Around 1999 - 2000 I was working for a tech company from Silicon Valley and was in Vegas for a convention. I decided to try my luck at the roulette wheel.

                      I put $20 down on black but the wheel came up red so I lost. Time to double up - $40 down on black, the wheel comes up red again so I lost. It can only come up red so many times before the wheel lands black so I doubled again - $80 on black - yep red again...$160 on black wheel comes up red, $320 on black - aargghh the wheel was red, $640 on black.....red !!

                      Out of cash I walked away.

                      On the way back to the elevator I ran into my manager and told him how my luck (or lack thereof went). I told him that I had lost $1260 in 6 roulette wheel spins. His response - "You had better expense that". I said "absolutely not" it was my gamble and my responsibility to take my own lumps.

                      He went on to explain that it was his theory that you seek entertainment according to the city that you are in. If we were in New York and went to a play we should be able to expense it - or if we were in Orlando and went to Disneyworld we would expense it so why should gambling in Vegas be any different. I looked at him and laughed then said no I was still not planning to expense it. His response - "expense it or your fired"

                      When I got home I filled out my expense report. I put in for $1260 and labelled it "Gambling Losses", My report included a full explanation of how I had bet and why I had no receipt. Basically I made it super easy for accounting to deny my expenses so that I would have submitted my expenses and not have to test my Managers threat.

                      Guess what - They paid it....no questions asked.

                      A few months later I asked my manager what would have happened if I had won. His response - those are gambling wins not company profits so I would have kept them.

                      17 or so years later I still shake my head.

                      The company went broke years ago (I know shocking isn't it)
                      Currently watching from shore while deciding what my next boat will be !

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                        #12
                        Local.....uh......company.....Hires firm to track the books and make suggestions for streamlining and other improvements.

                        They were not at it for very long, when they found the 15000 dollar a month Payment to "other". Checks Made out to a females name. The owners mistress. When they asked the owner about the checks, they were told " don't ask".

                        They packed up and left.
                        Can't afford a nice boat. Gotta make a cheap one nice enough.

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                          #13
                          In the mid-80s, when I co-owned an airplane sales company, I sold a Piper Cheyenne II turboprop to a businessman in Venezuela. This was his first experience with a turboprop; his previous airplane having been an Aero Comander 500.

                          A few weeks after I delivered the airplane to Caracas I got a call from the buyer. He had been looking at the expense reports being turned in by his pilot and was concerned that the airplane was using a lot more fuel than he was led to believe it would. I asked him to give me a list of the various flights he had done so I could calculate what the fuel burn should have been. Once I did this I called him with the information. He thanked me and hung up.

                          A few days later he called to say that he had just fired his pilot. It appears that the pilot had a deal going on with the fuel concessions at a few airports. They would give him receipts for more fuel than he was actually buying, and would pay him the difference in cash under the table.
                          1999 3788, Cummins 270 "Freedom"
                          2013 Boston Whaler 130 SS
                          Anacortes, WA

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                            #14
                            We had a guy who was our sales rep for south and central America and the Caribbean. His name, lets call him Jose. doing business in those areas required "gifts" to the local buyers made. Of course, no receipts were made and not asked for. You see, bribery of an "official" to secure business is illegal in the US. The company wrote this off as "client entertainment", and that's how the sales guys were to expense it out. Now, that said, his Gifts were a very small percentage of his sales. like maybe a percent or two. However, accounting is accounting, especially in a stockholder owned company. Oh, yes, Jose usually went out for 3 weeks, visited his clientele in 3-4 countries, and came back with 3-4 million of sales, and the gross sales for the company was about 20 mil that year, so Jose was a major player.

                            Enter a new sales director. He noticed that Jose's account never, ever, balanced, and called a meeting between Jose, the accounting manager, and Jose. They explained the bribe system and if he did a way with it, the company bottom line would suffer. Some words were said and Jose was fired on the spot. The company's gross revenue the next year was 15 mil, and 100 were laid off or fired. The new sales guy included.


                            Thee weeks later, Jose was a VP at a major bank. We learned he had a MBA from Miami U and the bank was under pressure to hire minority people. Triple the salary.
                            Captharv 2001 2452
                            "When the draft of your boat exceeds the depth of water, you are aground"

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