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Expense Accounting 101

Between 1949 and 1956, William Stevenson (famed for such books as A Man Called Intrepid) served as a foreign correspondent for The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail. Stevenson earned an enviable reputation for his imaginative expense-accounting. "My method," he later recalled, "was simply to add up at the end how much of the paper's money I'd spent and then make up something plausible -- or not so plausible. Once, coming home from India for the Star, I found I was still $50 short on the tally. So I listed two gurus for that amount. I attached a note saying that gurus were normally $50 apiece but that, being conscious of the Star's economy drive just then, I'd made a special bargain."

The item was approved.

[On another occasion, Stevenson's account included the following entry: "Helicopter crash, $22." (Approved again.)]

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