A former executive assistant to two Delta Senior Vice President made $280,000 in personal charges on her company American Express card between 2007 and 2014.
Apparently she “used another person’s credentials to log onto Delta’s online expense-approval system and approve the expenses..”
I’ve certainly seen employees who justify expenses on the basis of what they view as fair. Perhaps they travel for work and they see extras as compensation for time away from their family — compensation they haven’t been promised, didn’t negotiate, and indeed don’t tell their employer about.
But when they aren’t just ‘slipping it by’ their accounting department, but are actively engaging in deceit to keep their charges outside of the normal review processes, there’s not even that little bit of grey involved.
Most businesses set up financial controls that do assume at least a modicum of honesty on the part of their employees. It’s something they (should) try to screen for in hiring and performance reviews. Usually the mere fact that expenses are going to be seen by someone else is enough to keep impulses to charge personal items to the company in check, although employees certainly learn which supervisors are more or less likely to give expenses a careful review.
Essentially forging approvals of one’s own expenses is way beyond that usual process. I’m not surprised it happened, but am surprised that the employee got away with it for 7.5 years. I don’t like making people change their passwords frequently, that just causes them to write down their passwords in a way that’s often less secure. Still, there does seem like a real lapse in security protocols if this employee could use a supervisor or approver’s login consistently for that length of time.