Ollie loses a receipt and ends up out of pocket

Failure to photograph a receipt costs Ollie dearly when its absence means he can’t claim back the spend when he has to file an expenses claim.

“No, that’s not it,” said Ollie, picking up a piece of paper and putting it down again. He wandered distractedly around the office doing the same thing with document after document, before repeating the process with the contents first of his briefcase, and then his wallet.

Bill had tried not to allow the aimless wandering to disturb him, but knew he was fighting a losing battle. Rubbing his hand over his face, he said: “OK; I give in, what have you lost?”

“Bill,” said Ollie.

Bill waved his arms above his head. “Coo-ee, here I am,” he said.

“Not you. A bill. A bill with a small b. I need to claim for it on my expenses, and if I can’t find it, I can’t claim for it.”

“You’re so sharp, it’s a wonder you don’t cut yourself. Why are you looking for it?”

“I’ve just said. If I can’t find it, I can’t claim the money back on my expenses.”

“No, I mean why are you looking for it now?” he said, with more patience than he felt. “Why didn’t you photograph it when the receipt was put in your hand? ExpenseOnDemand would have even read the details about how much, and when you spent it, and who the supplier was. It couldn’t be simpler. And yet you’ve chosen to make hard work of it by losing the receipt, not having photographed it. I, on the other hand, have no clue where my receipts are, but I don’t care and it doesn’t matter, because I’ve photographed them all, and they’re all here, in neat columns, in the ExpenseOnDemand app. I’ve already made my claim, but the way, and it got signed off even if the boss is in Bangkok, thanks to the wonder of online expenses software.”

Ollie was downcast. “To be honest, you’re not really helping,” he told his friend.

“Well, pardon me if I disagree,” said Bill. “I think I’m being helpful in the extreme. We work for the same company, and we’re supposed to be using the same business expense tracker app. I have, and I’ve got the money back, but you, on the other hand, are an air-head. An impecunious air-head for that matter, and one who’s behind with his work because he’s been mooching around the office all day searching for a piece of paper that clearly isn’t here. On that basis, I’m teaching you a valuable lesson, called ‘How to avoid wasting your life because you’re not recording expenses properly.’ And I still say you’re an air-head.”

“I don’t suppose you could lend me a bit of money until payday?” Ollie asked.

“Sure,” said Bill. “Take it out of the money you still owe me because I lent you cash to help you out of exactly this situation last month, and you still haven’t paid me back. I’m your friend, not the Bank of Bill, for goodness sake. Come on, I’ll buy you a coffee, if you promise to listen to a lecture about how to claim expenses properly using ExpenseOnDemand…”