Bill explains why the chicken really crossed the road

Why busy business owners can be faced with an unexpected bill if they’re not careful with their small business expense tracking…

“C’mon then, here’s a teaser for you,” said Bill, leaning back in his chair and unwrapping his packed lunch. “Why did the chicken cross the road?”

Ollie looked up from the complicated email he was writing. “Not now, Bill, I’m just busy with this email…”

“All the more important that you should humour me. Why did the chicken cross the road?”

“To get to the other side?”

“Not even close. The real reason was that he was a fraud.”

“What, you mean it was a duck with a rubber glove on his head, trying to pretend it was a chicken? Why is that in any way funny?”

“Actually, it is a bit, when you think about the image,” said Bill, pausing in the act of peeling the shell from a hard-boiled egg. “Look we’re having a chicken-themed lunch. No, the chicken wasn’t that kind of fraud. He was an expenses fraud, wandering back and forth across the road and putting a claim on his expenses for every trip. Fraud, plain and simple.”

“That’s not very funny, is it?”

“Certainly not. But I never said it was; I said it was a teaser. And it was important that you humoured me precisely because you were writing that complicated email.”

“I don’t see why a fraudulent chicken, or a duck with a rubber glove on its head for that matter, is any reason for me to listen to another of your rambling stories when I’m really busy and up against a deadline,” said Ollie, turning his attention to the screen again and trying to pick up his train of thought.

“And there is the nail, being hit on the head, right there,” said Bill triumphantly, jabbing at the air with his egg. “Executives who are too busy with other stuff to do a diligent job with their small business expense tracking will almost certainly find themselves with an unexpected bill sooner or later. How often have you signed off expenses without really looking at what you’re signing? And how often do you have to do that before someone in your organisation realises it and starts to take advantage? It’s what people are prone to do; it’s human nature.”

Ollie had abandoned all efforts to write his email. He asked: “So you’re advocating a more structured approach to expenses management?”

“The light comes on at last,” said Bill. That’s exactly what I’m saying. Technology is available to manage the process effectively with the lightest of touches using a specially-developed app. And as far as chickens marching back and forth over the road are concerned, that kind of random – not to mention heavily-inflated and fraudulent – expenses claim will be a thing of the past!”