One of the most fun things about business travel is seeing what you can get away with come expense report time. We’ve all taken liberties with our employer’s expense policy, although things I’ve put on expense reports would probably be considered lame: a pack of smokes, a four-pack of Surly Furious IPA, a bomber of […]
As professional capital market servants, you regularly purchase goods and services for business reasons. Airfare. Bic pens. Strippers. They all, at one time or another, have been purchased in the name of commerce. Unfortunately, what constitutes as a "business expense" is subject to wide interpretation. For example, a large elaborate lunch with various co-workers is […]
We meant to get to this on Friday but as you recall, our plans we’re slightly derailed by forces beyond our control. We’re sharing it now because there are lessons here for all the newbies out there. Pay attention, this could one of you.
During busy season the temptation to get a little aggressive with the expense reimbursement comes naturally to just about everyone. If you deny this particular bit of weakness then you are either A) lying through your coffee-stained teeth or B) in the wrong profession; join the clergy.
It should be noted that the abuse of reimbursement policy has relative levels of ridiculousness. Partners can rationalize and get away with more extravagant abuse than a mere associate so keep that in mind here.
So maybe every once in awhile you and some team members slip out for a three martini lunch that falls on the expensive side and you ram it through on your expense report because you figure you deserve it. Totally natch.
It gets overboard when you have the tendency to place some wagers and because you’re a degenerate loser, you start submitting expenses to fund this little gambling hobby.
Vikas Gupta was employed by KPMG until he couldn’t pass his “accountancy exams” aaaaannnnddd it was discovered that he claimed expenses of £25,000 to fund his gambling and to pay off debt. Gupta claims that he hit “various internal charge codes” to charge the expenses; which, we hear, is a typical methodology.
Gupta also claims that he suffered from depression (losing streaks will do that), is now in Gamblers Anonymous and is employed by a new firm, so he’s back on the straight and narrow.
This didn’t impress a tribunal of the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales (the AICPA of E&W), who has recommended that Gupta be banned from having provisional membership for 12 months and to be “severely reprimanded.” Since he has no means to pay fines (he entered an individual voluntary agreement), one can assume that the reprimand will consist of 30 lashes, a marathon of technical accounting trainings, or both.
Ex-KPMG trainee admits £25,000 expenses fraud [Accountancy Age]
From a soon to be ex-Ernst & Young SA:
Being employed by a big 4 is like being in an abusive relationship. You know its bad for you but its still kind of addictive.
Right on the money? Dead wrong? Addictive like salt & vinegar potato chips or addictive like the stuff that’s in Rush Limbaugh’s medicine cabinet? Discuss.