From dog pedicures to a yacht captain’s salary, these real-life expense report findings are downright absurd
ATLANTA - June 17, 2021 - Oversight, the global leader in spend management and risk mitigation technology, today released its Top 10 Most Shocking Expenses list.
According to Oversight’s proprietary spend data, in pre-pandemic years organizations lost an average of $7 million in T&E and P-card fraud for every $1BN of revenue generated and lost an additional $5 million to duplicate payments in AP for every billion processed.
Oversight data also shows that today’s companies have seen the risk of fraud and waste grow in 2020, with organizations reporting a 292% increase in T&E violation rates since the start of the pandemic. In fact, 79% of companies saw an increase in overall fraud in 2020.
To better understand the risks facing organizations today, Oversight compiled the results from a survey of hundreds of adult workers, with responses grouped into categories and ranked. The results of that survey, the Top 10 Most Shocking Expenses, include:
10. Company Culture Run Wild
A generous boss bought everyone in the office motorcycles on the company tab, while another bought their whole department Peloton Bikes.
9. Drinks as Office Supplies
One restaurant got wise and named its highest-priced entrees after office supplies. Elsewhere, servers charge for food but serve alcohol to dodge receipt reviews.
8. Bachelor Parties
It’s not uncommon to see a bold employee include expense line items from their “sales” trip to Las Vegas on the expense report.
7. Extravagant Dog Lifestyles
Respondents acknowledged dog pedicures on expense reports, entrees at restaurants purportedly for dogs, and dog-related expenses to bring the pet along on business trips.
6. Questionable Regard for Company Finances
One respondent expensed a golf trip to Pebble Beach with a client that was also his cousin. Another expensed $600 sunglasses because they “left theirs at home.”
5. Giant Tabs
Steak dinners in the thousands. $500 worth of shots. A $1500 receipt from McDonald’s. Some of the most common responses we received were tales of giant tabs from the nights on the town.
4. Super Bowl MVPs
There’s something about sports that brings out the corporate high roller: From first-class plane tickets to the game to drinks for the entire bar during the Super Bowl, there’s nothing businesspeople won’t do to impress their client. Including tacking on an impromptu post-Super-Bowl trip to Disney World after the right team won, for an additional $10,000.
3. Living Luxuriously
Employees often feel compelled to attain luxury items on the company dime. One employee expensed a $1000+ bottle of wine at a dinner for one. Another purchased themselves a Lamborghini on the company card. A third spent more than half a million on a wristwatch.
2. Wild Animals
Among the strangest recurring themes: expenses related to wild or exotic animals. One employee purchased a pet monkey, while another expensed payment for car repair when an elephant sat on the hood of his rental.
1. The “Exceptional” Executive
Combined with these tales of employees making extravagant purchases comes another category of fraudulent actors: the exceptional executive. One C-Suite leader bought and expensed a yacht “just because.” Another expensed the salary of his yacht’s captain. A third bought a polo team.
“Your organization likely audits expense reports after the fact, when payments have already been made,” said Terrence McCrossan, CEO for Oversight. “As a result, thousands or even millions in expenses flow out of your organization unnecessarily. Instead, you should deploy the tools that prevent cash leakage and mitigate risks with real-time, trend-based analysis and total visibility into 100% of spend, to ensure that nothing gets by you.”
For more on the Top 10 Most Shocking Expenses, visit oversight.com/blog/top-ten-craziest-expenses.
Oversight is how finance organizations use AI to tackle hidden spend risk in everything from T&E to payables. Instead of manually auditing a small sample of past spend, Oversight customers, including 25% of the Fortune 100, can automatically analyze 100% of current spend and see the actions they need to take now. Only Oversight makes sure nothing gets by you with its see it all, spot the patterns, steer the future approach. It’s how Oversight helps companies identify 98% of all errors before payment is even released. With Oversight, Nothing Gets by You Now. Visit us at www.Oversight.com.