The Expense Report Blues

We all have those little things in our job that we absolutely abhor!!! You know what I’m talking about – those random tasks that truly bring out the absolute worst in us and remind us how flawed we really are. These aren’t big, scary things. Just those teeny, administrative, organizational hiccups that just seem like impossible obstacles to attack. I tend to avoid, avoid, avoid, which is highly ironic because I’m a doer-by-default.

For me, one of those horrible tasks that I put off, and put off, and put off, until my husband AND our company CFO are breathing down my neck is EXPENSE REPORTS. I just don’t have it in me to stay organized in the way that works well for my company’s expense reporting system.

Saving receipts never works out well for me. Remembering random Starbucks charges in Timbuktu (or technically rural Minnesota or Indiana when they are within 20 miles) never works. I can remember to complete 30 different things for work, school volunteering, and writing this blog, BUT connecting the dots on when I last paid my corporate card tends to fall onto my husband’s shoulders with embarrassing frequency.  It’s a good thing that I fell in love with and married an accountant all those years ago. High-five to my teen-age self!!!

So, what happens when you procrastinate and forget to submit your expenses for two full months?

Well, in my typical bi-monthly trend, I wake up at 5am and start printing receipts from my corporate card statement. Literally, I wake up at 5am because I start to stress over how long it has been since I have been reimbursed.  Then, I calmly start taping (YES, I SAID TAPING) loose receipts on a piece of paper to track and send to my Boston office.

After a good three hours of time “organizing,” I realize that I’ve forgotten at least half of my expenses and convince myself that I won’t tell my husband. Remember, you NEVER tell an accountant that you can’t remember every line item in a spreadsheet… This means that I will ultimately not be reimbursed for some of my expenses, but on the bright side, I have minimal commuting expenses since I work at home, so it sort of evens out, right?

So today, around noon, I will submit my expenses for October, November and December, which include 5 business trips! Woo hoo!  That’s an accomplishment.

Please tell me I’m not alone! What is your work-place procrastination?



One thought on “The Expense Report Blues

  1. Norma Leza

    I totally get this!!! I procrastinate updating the resource plan!! Ugh. It’s a great tool to measure where and what you spent your time on in a 4 week period. If done right, it tells you and your manager if you’ve got too much production support, too many defect/enhancements tickets or availability for additional stuff (the latter is never the case)! At the present moment, last period has come and gone and I missed logging every week! So now I get to go back through emails, folders and calendars to guesstimate what I worked on every day in that period! Of course, now I’m thinking, “crap, I’m already 2 weeks into the new period!” That’s 6 weeks that need to be covered now! I already know that today I don’t have time to even get started on this task! Yikes! Good luck next year!!


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