In an effort to needlessly complicate everyone's lives, the Company has implemented a new automated T&E expense system. Please review these revised procedures for reimbursement.
User name and password: Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to PerfaSoft, our system vendor, being sure to include your full legal name, Social Security number, mother's maiden name, first pet's favorite treat, and the name of the street adjacent to the one you grew up on. An ID and password combination will be mailed to you within 12 to 14 weeks.
Required fields: In addition to the date, location, and vendor for each expense (and, for meals, copies of the menu and wine list), please provide the name and contact information of an independent witness (e.g., waitress, spa attendant) willing to corroborate the business purpose of any purchase as well as its estimated ROI.
Receipts: Receipts must be pasted in chronological order on colored construction paper and hand-delivered to Accounting. For expenses involving alcohol or "adult entertainment," submit Form 1292-C to both the legal department and the Company's consulting psychologist. Failure to do so may result in harsh disciplinary action.
Reporting: The new system is incompatible with Windows versions released after 1996. Employees with newer computers may therefore file reports on one of two dedicated terminals located in the "expenses" cubicle, available until 11 p.m. each work night, next to Accounting.
Approval: Each report requires four approvals, including that of at least one member of the senior executive team. Approved reports then will routinely be rejected by Betty in Accounting for incomplete witness statements and receipts pasted out of order. Employees who submit errorless reports can expect reimbursement . . . someday.
A version of this article appeared in the March 2005 issue of Fast Company magazine.