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Odd expense requests

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TORONTO—Forty percent of chief financial officers say they’ve seen an increase in employees asking for reimbursement for inappropriate items, like toilet paper, cosmetic surgery and cigars, according to a new survey.

A Robert Half Management Resources survey of more than 270 CFOs found employees have asked to be paid back for purchasing small items like a pair of socks, a video game console, yoga and pilates classes, and hair supplies.

Some big-ticket items included a trailer rental for a family reunion, a sweet 16 birthday venue and a camping trip.

Companies should have simple expense report systems to avoid these issues, the management services firm said.

Employees should ask themselves if the item they’re submitting for reimbursement falls within the company’s policies, if it could create confusion regarding how it’s related to work and if their grandmother would approve, it added.

A list of 20 other unusual items CFOs say employees sought reimbursement for includes a ski trip, lottery tickets, rental homes, a spa day, a cruise, cosmetic surgery, a tennis racket, movie tickets, a speeding ticket, and a dog.

Child care, bus fare, toilet paper, a bubble bath, flowers for a spouse, a flat-screen TV, a haircut, a home remodel, driving lessons, and a car payment round out the list.

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