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Will Running Up the Corporate Card and Not Paying Get You Fired From An Accounting Firm?

It’s a slow day at the factory so let’s pull this one out of the Ask Going Concern mailbag for consideration:

Has anyone ever been terminated for not paying back their corporate card? My friend, who wants to be unnamed, has a 120 past due balance on their card (roughly $2,300 balance). He is freaking out. Should he be concerned about losing his job?

Well let’s see here, did your “friend” run up a bunch of charges that can’t be expensed? Such as jaunts to strip clubs, LEGO sets, and trips to the liquor store? Is your “friend” then liable for those charges since they were not racked up for the sole purpose of firm business? And, most importantly, can your “friend” pick away at the balance by making lattes at Starbucks if your “friend” does not make enough at their firm to pay it off immediately?

This all sounds a bit shady so we’re going to have to say we don’t know if your “friend” will get fired or not. Did your “friend” run up a few Gold Club lunches and forget to pay the bill with his personal card? Because an oops or two on the company card isn’t something we’ve heard anyone get fired for, like if you accidentally put a Saturday food delivery on the company card when you should have used your personal debit card. Racking up $2,300 on crap that is most definitely filed under personal expenses? Yeah, that’s another story.

Pay it. Er, tell your “friend” to pay it. The card is in your your “friend’s” name and accounting is an incredibly small world so paying it would be the wise thing to do, with or without the threat of termination. Tell the firm you your “friend” spent the weekend ingesting research chemicals purchased off the darknet and totally mixed the cards up when ordering a $2,300 sofa the next day. Or whatever it is “they” spent $2,300 on. What the hell did you, er, your “friend” buy on the company card anyway? And why haven’t you paid it off yet? This is not going to just magically go away.

Remember: corporate cards aren’t free money. Sad we even have to remind you of that but, well, you know.