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As anyone who works within a corporate environment knows, there are budgets for everything – entertainment, travel, stationary, computer purchases, software, salaries etc. When one goes over budget then there must be salient reasons for this – which means explanations must be provided, as budgeting is an extremely time-consuming and painful process to go through, which requires many man-hours before the budgets are nailed down.

Today one of the myriad of budgets for entertainment was overspent by 50%. Reason would dictate that some analysis into why this happened would be necessary. What I got was a request to reclass some of the entertainment overspend to another cost category. I have refused to do so, even in the face of senior management (non-finance) firmly requesting I do so. Seems they don’t want to go before the CFO and explain themselves. I have given the head’s up on this to my own manager, so that she is aware of:

  1. That there was an overspend by 50%
  2. There was no attempt at cost containment
  3. There has been attempt to hide the overspend
  4. That I do not believe it prudent to reclass the overspend into another cost category, as it would have tax implications if we get audited (entertainment expenses are only 50% tax deductible)
  5. As an indication that a conversation should occur in which the idea of “cost containment” and “frugal/careful spending” should be reinforced, especially in today’s economic climate

So no, dearest mushrooms, this isn’t a blog post about my co-workers in the Finance Department nor about my assistant. This is about the potential folly of spending like crazy and then having to answer to “daddy”.