Human skull, llama rental and Cher tickets among craziest business expenses

This photo shows a llama on the Vinto homestead, on the outskirts of Santiago de Machaca, Bolivia. The rental of a llama was among the craziest business expenses in a survey by Certify, a cloud-based travel and expense report company.
(Juan Karita / Associated Press)

If you’ve ever fretted about submitting a strange business expense to your bosses, you can take comfort knowing that your purchase was probably not as wacky as buying a human skull or renting a llama.

Those were among the craziest expenses submitted in the United States over the last five years, according to Certify, a cloud-based travel and expense report company.

What may be the craziest part of the list of nine wacky charges is that six of them were actually approved as legitimate business expenses.

For example, a financial manager of an unnamed company approved an $800 purchase of a human skull for a medical experiment, and the vice president of marketing for another company OK’d $150 to rent a llama for a photo shoot, Certify said.

But the chief finance officer of an unnamed company rejected a $10,000 expense bill to repair a hole punched in a hotel room wall and airfare to rebook a flight that was missed because the iron-fisted employee was in jail, according to Certify, which compiled the results from a survey of 2,000 workers and executives.


Among other expenses that were approved was $150 to pay a towing charge because an employee parked illegally to make an important appointment.

An employee at another company got approval to spend $125 for tickets to attend a Cher concert, according to the Certify survey, which did not elaborate on why seeing a performance by the ageless pop singer was a legitimate expense.

On a day-to-day basis, Certify representatives say that most business expense reports filed in the United States are pretty mundane.

For example, in the July-through-September period, the ride-hailing business Uber appeared most often on expense reports, followed by Starbucks and Amazon. Delta Air Lines was the most expensed airline and Hampton Inn was the most expensed lodging, Certify said.

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