Employees Can Get Outrageous With Expense Requests

CFOs surveyed for Robert Half cited some of the most inappropriate requests they’ve seen for expense reimbursement.

Finance departments continually develop rigorous expense reporting guidelines, but that hasn’t stemmed the flow of eyebrow-raising requests by some employees, suggests a Robert Half Management Resources survey.


Twenty-seven percent of CFOs surveyed cited a significant increase in the number of inappropriate reimbursement submissions over the last three years, while 29% said such requests have somewhat increased. Another 29% have seen no change in inappropriate requests.


Some of the inappropriate requests cited by CFOs include:

  • Trip to Italy
  • Bear rug
  • Pogo stick
  • Taxes
  • Moving a horse trailer
  • Daycare
  • Pet sitting
  • Kids’ clothing
  • Cat litter
  • Toys
  • Chandeliers
  • Tractor
  • Tree
  • Plunger
  • Bed bug removal
  • Chicken statue with a top hat
  • Yacht
  • Pearls
  • Motorcycle
  • Lamborghini


Additional research also found most companies utilize technology-based solutions in their expense-reporting process: 44% use internally developed software and 41% employ third-party systems. Overall, only 14% of organizations use manual processes, though this jumps to 31% for firms with 20 to 49 employees.


The online surveys were developed by Robert Half Management Resources and conducted by an independent research firm. They are based on responses from more than 1,000 CFOs at U.S. companies with 20 or more employees.