Marketplace Scratch Pad

Fake expensing it

Scott Jagow Sep 30, 2009

I wonder if Wall Street actually is cutting back. In an effort to drum up business, a Manhattan restaurant has created a website where you can generate fake receipts to turn in to your employer.

When you visit Maloney & Porcelli’s “expense report generator” (expenseasteak.com), you just type in your amount and voila! Photocopied, semi-wrinkled receipts appear:

Apparently, the restaurant is also handing out doggie bags with logos on them from other restaurants — Chipotle, Sbarro, Olive Garden — you know, to make the ruse more authentic.

It’s obviously a marketing ploy and a funny/controversial one, but perhaps it’s an economic indicator. The restaurant is a stone’s throw from Manhattan’s bank row. No more three martini lunches? A press release from Maloney & Porcelli started with this: “One of the biggest casualties of the financial crisis is the expense account meal.”

Uh, a bit of hyperbole there, but joking aside, what’s your company doing about expense accounts? I read this from “Business Relationship Expert” Robin Jay:

Increased scrutiny of expense accounts is to be expected as most companies are looking for anyplace where they can cut costs. But, according to Jay, having expense accounts is critical to the success of any business. Whether or not your sales reps or executives travel for business or are working locally, you tie their hands when you don’t allow them to wine and dine your company’s clients.

True?

By the way, I am not advocating that you use the expense report generator. Here’s the disclaimer guy talking really fast:

“I accept no liability for the content of this blog post, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.”

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