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The Craziest Things Employees Tried to Expense Last Year

The Craziest Things Employees Tried to Expense Last Year

Photograph by Anup Shah/Getty Images

(An earlier version of this story ran online.)

Certify, an expense-management firm based in Portland, Me., shared with Bloomberg Businessweek examples of the more brazen expenses it has collected, based on some 1,000 surveys asking about employees’ submissions in 2012.


Goat: A group of employees at an energy-supply firm expensed a live goat for a barbecue in Mexico. The goat was last seen fleeing the scene in a sombrero.


Baby Giraffe: The poor young giraffe was brought to an office party for a restaurant/hospitality company. Justice would be served if it kicked someone in the face.


Dunk Tank: The tank was rented to boost employees’ morale—they doused the boss—at an auto parts supplier. Those with good aim were never heard from again.


Pink Flamingo Lawn Ornaments: Someone at a medical device manufacturer apparently needed four. For “tackiness” purposes.


Deer Urine: An employee at an agricultural products company used the urine on a hunting trip with a client. Afterward, Bambi filed a complaint with HR.


Laser Tattoo Removal: An IT industry worker decided ink didn’t fit his or her image and sought to “appear more professional to clients.” And to moms.


Live Baby Octopuses: A Japanese visitor to a pharmaceutical company wanted sushi. Instead of taking him to a restaurant, the company brought the sushi to him, superfresh.


Henri IV Cognac: A financial-services employee sipped one of the world’s most expensive liquors, to the tune of $1,300. “Take that, recession!” he said, right before he was fired.


A Trip for a Job Interview: Someone hated his job with an Internet service provider so much he charged the company to find him a new employer. He now has a gig as a “hijinks” screenwriter.

*Courtesy of Certify, an expense-management firm
Wong is an associate editor for Bloomberg Businessweek. Follow her on Twitter @venessawwong.

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