This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada, which closed in 2021.

Ski trips, a dog and speeding tickets: Odd employee expense requests

TORONTO — Forty per cent of chief financial officers say they've seen an increase in employees asking for reimbursement for inappropriate items, like toilet paper, cosmetic surgery and cigars, according to a new survey.

A Robert Half Management Resources survey of more than 270 CFOs found employees have asked to be paid back for purchasing small items like a pair of socks, a video game console, yoga and pilates classes, and hair supplies.

Some big-ticket items included a trailer rental for a family reunion, a sweet 16 birthday venue and a camping trip.

Companies should have simple expense report systems to avoid these issues, said David King, the company's Canadian president.

Employees should ask themselves if the item they're submitting for reimbursement falls within the company's policies, if it could create confusion regarding how it's related to work and if their grandmother would approve, the management services firm said.

"These examples, while sometimes humorous, also illustrate more serious concerns with inaccurate or inappropriate expense reports — in terms of both the costs incurred by the business itself, as well as the impact on the professional image of those who submit them," King said.

Here's a list of 20 other unusual items CFOs say employees sought reimbursement:

— A ski trip.

— Lottery tickets.

— Rental homes.

— A spa day.

— A cruise.

— Cosmetic surgery.

— A tennis racket.

— Movie tickets.

— A speeding ticket.

— A dog.

— Child care.

— Bus fare.

— Toilet paper.

— Bubble bath.

— Flowers for spouse.

— A flat-screen TV.

— A haircut.

— Home remodel.

— Driving lessons.

— A car payment.

The Canadian Press

Suggest a correction
This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Canada. Certain site features have been disabled. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact