Ethical Nature of Business Expenses

In: Business and Management

Submitted By mikke1556
Words 1704
Pages 7
Business expense accounts are a useful tool that many companies today choose to implement. The idea behind them is to enable a company to provide support to their employees whether they frequently travel or their job requires them to spend money. For example, a salesperson who travels will incur expenses such as lodging and transportation. These expenses could be covered using an employee expense account that will reimburse the employee at a later date or cover the cost at the time of purchase if the employee is given a credit card. With a perk like this, it begs to ask the question: how much freedom does an employee have over this expense account? Is it his or her money to spend as they wish? Robert Audi presents this issue by posing two situations to consider with regards to expense accounts. Would it be ethical to use the company expense account to take a friend to dinner while travelling? Or would it be ethical to invite a friend to share a cab with to the airport and expense the entire ride to your company? (142) The ethical issue arises in these situations because it is unclear if it is ethical for an employee to use their expense account for personal reasons such as allowing a person outside the company to benefit from the expense account. Are there ethical rules or company policies in place to govern they way an employee should utilize their expense account? To start this discussion, consider a scenario where no detailed company policy is put into place regarding how the money should be spent. This expense account is given to an employee who travels and needs financial support in order to effectively do his/her job. The implied spending that this expense account should cover are the necessities of travel such as food, lodging, and transportation. However, there are no explicit rules as to how much this employee is allowed to spend, who this employee is…...

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