The Top 10 most unusual expenses

One thing that all business trips have in common is turning in receipts for travel and expenses, but what should or shouldn’t employees be expensing? Here are the recipients of the Top 10 Interesting Expense Awards from Oversight Systems, which develops software to automate expense and billing compliance.

Yoga class
Group of young sporty people practicing yoga lesson with instructor, sitting in Mermaid exercise, Eka Pada Rajakapotasana pose, working out, indoor full length, students training in club, studio

1. Most Unusual Client Gift Award

A sales rep expensed a sports bra from Lululemon as a “client gift.” Later, the client and the sales rep went together to a yoga class, which was also expensed to the company. When questioned, the sales rep saw no harm in the unusual purchases.
Stack of computers
Stack of old, broken and obsolete laptop computer for repair and recycle

2. Most Enterprising Award

One employee expensed $99,000 worth of Lenovo computers. He may have had some computer issues, but this is excessive. Instead, he was using the corporate discount to buy computers at a steep discount and then sell them for a nice profit.
Eyelash extension
Eyelashes extensions. Fake Eyelashes. Eyelash Extension Procedure. Professional stylist lengthening female lashes. Master and a client in a beauty salon.

3. You Look Marvelous Award

One employee decided her eyelash extensions qualified as a business expense and charged the $69 purchase to her company.
Cigarette and car mirror
Woman holding a ciggarette outside of car window

4. Smoke and Mirrors Award

Smoking is expensive; the high cost of cigarettes became so burdensome to one employee that they began regularly altering receipts submitted with expense reports and concealing the cigarettes as “fuel.”
Car rental
man in suit offering a car key to the observer, with a car in the background

Big Spender Award

An employee at a biotech company began renting a car for a week for $752, racked up $2,500 in office supplies from a CVS Pharmacy in just a month, and charged $1,000 for catering a “meeting,” which all ended up being a personal expense.
Barbecue grill
n a summer evening, two men in their forties prepares a barbecue for friends gathered around a table in the garden

6. Smoke Them if You Got Them Award

One employee needed the latest smoker and purchased a $699 Traeger Grill. He then expensed it as a business expense. At least he economized by buying the lower-priced model, versus the top-of-the-line Traeger grill.
Beer and cigarettes
people and bad habits concept - man drinking beer and smoking and shaking off ashes of cigarette at bar or pub

7. Fuel Is Fuel Award

An employee was expensing a lot of fuel, despite not having a rental car. Turns out the employee, like an earlier honoree, was doctoring the receipts to hide alternate fuels — in this case, beer and cigarettes.
Parking deck
Multi Level Public Parking Space. City Parking Level F.

8. Where Did I Leave My Car Award

An employee at a medical technology company had a weird pattern of out-of-pocket parking expenses. Upon further investigation, the employee had been submitting the same doctored receipt for a parking deck that — get this — no longer existed.
Wine drinkers
Brunch Choice Crowd Dining Food Options Eating Concept

9. Wine Is Everything Award

This employee explained expensing a bottle of wine as a “snack” thusly: “I wanted to save the company money by not having wine at dinner.” The problem was that the receipts showed that she still had wine with her dinner.
Woman wearing gas mask hiding in the basement behind a red brick wall

10. Need to Survive Award

One employee was so afraid of the end of the world in 2018 that they decided to order several doomsday prepper books with scary titles like “Your Home Fallout Shelter: How to Ensure Your Family’s Health and Survival in a Nuclear Incident” ($9.95) “Nuclear War Survival Skills” ($19.95) and “The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource” ($14.95). Why they thought these were business expenses remains unclear ...

What are some of your favorite ridiculous expenses or deductions? Tell us in the comments section of this article.