Thursday, October 29, 2009

We need to watch our expenses

While staying current with the local news around the FTI compound, I have noticed a disturbing trend:  employees and public officials billing their company or local government for numerous personal expenses not related to their job or duties.  Not only is this flat out dishonest and illegal, I find it morally offensive.  My point, however, is not to be some moral compass for others or goody-2-shoes; rather, to highlight the safeguards and checkpoints employed by the FTI finance team.

Here at FTI, all employee expenses (mine) are scrutinized for accuracy in regard to dates and amounts.    After initial scrutiny, the expense report is then  filed in a 3 month aging bin where nothing is done or acted upon until this 90 day barrier is met. In the meantime, I am on my own for any type of payment to my bank.  Appeals to our cheap-assed Board of Directors to speed up this process has been  met to date with the same sound as that found in the middle of the forest in the summer:  *crickets chirping*.   Promptly upon the 91st day following the submission of expenses, a terse denial of all requests is issued.  I then have to resubmit all statements and begin the process over again.  I have always treated company money like it was my own and have never billed the company for my personal expenses.  Before I came Executive Director here at the Institute, I do recall an incident while employed at an earlier position where I had an expense questioned:  I put a 25%+  tip on a meal at a Chinese restaurant which my supervisor thought was extensive.  (Never mind the fact that the meal cost a total of $6.95, he thought the $1.75 was too much of a tip.) Talk about scrutiny! 

I have not billed the Institute for the mental health therapy bills I have incurred recently.  Dealing with this band of Weirdos, Whackos, and Misfits on a daily basis certainly creates the need for this type of expense.  I just hope the therapist will see fit to carry me on their books a bit longer.  My case definitely needs a long term treatment plan.

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