Calculating the mileage in an expense claim

Posted on 2013-06-05
Last Modified: 2013-06-06
You are shown an expense form from Mr Chan.

There are various expenses on the form, marked as December 2004.

1.12.04 - FDB Group - Train Journey - £8.80
1.12.04 - FDB Group - Lunch with client - £16.63
14.12.04 - OD&D Ltd - Mileage to and from presentation - £24.50
17.12.04 - Pickard & Co - Train journey to client - £12.45
23.12.04 - Shah Solicitors - Breakfast meeting - £17.40

Total for month £79.78

* mileage paid at £0.35 per mile for the first 1000 miles each year and £0.25 thereafter.

How many miles did Mr Chan travel on his journey to Reading for the presentation to OD&D Ltd ?

A 35
B 49
C 70
D 98
E Cannot say
Question by:purplesoup
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LVL 84

Assisted Solution

ozo earned 84 total points
ID: 39221421
What assumptions are we allowed to make?
Should we assume that
14.12.04 - OD&D Ltd - Mileage to and from presentation - £24.50
is a journey to and from  Reading for a presentation to OD&D?
Should we assume that the route taken covered the same distance on the to journey as on the from  journey?
Should we assume that the expense form from Mr Chan is for the travels of Mr Chan?
Should we assume that there were no other mileage expenses that year?
LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2nd
Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2nd earned 166 total points
ID: 39221562
I get either C or D, so it must be E.

As this claim form has been presented to the expenses department I would hope that they have information about his previous mileage claims for the year and they should have provided this along with the form.
If they have such detailed, but varied information about the distances they presumably have a structure in place to pay the appropriate amount without the need for a form to be submitted.
In a previous company I worked for mileage claims were based on a hypothetical return journey between your normal place of work and the other location, subtracting the distance of your normal home to work journey. Those calculations were much more puzzling.
LVL 37

Assisted Solution

TommySzalapski earned 166 total points
ID: 39222120
The question asks how many miles he traveled to the destination so it should be half the round trip.

So it's either A or B depending on whether he has traveled over 1000 miles so far this year.

Since it is December, there are probably expenses that we don't know about.

I would agree that it must be E unless there is more info you have not told us.

Author Comment

ID: 39222210
Ok - thanks - this actually is a real job assessment question a friend of mine got, run by this company

There was no other information provided and I'm sorry to say it didn't tell him if he got it right or not.

The comments made are quite apt - what are we allowed to assume here?

I agree that the answer must - if there is any justice - be E, we don't know what previous expense claims were. We can speculate that even though it is December if Mr Chan submits £24.50 a month he would still be within the first 1000 miles, but there is no way of knowing that.
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LVL 37

Assisted Solution

TommySzalapski earned 166 total points
ID: 39222224
I agree completely.
LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2nd
Thibault St john Cholmondeley-ffeatherstonehaugh the 2nd earned 166 total points
ID: 39222540
As it is a test question I expect they are looking for attention to detail and so identifying that there could be more than one answer is what they want.
LVL 22

Accepted Solution

Flyster earned 84 total points
ID: 39224452
Not knowing the total miles traveled prior to 14.12.04, "E" would be the only possible answer. If he had traveled 930 miles up to that point, then the next 70 miles would take him to 1000 for the year, all at £.35 per mile, or £24.50 total. If he was already past 1000 miles, then he would have to travel 98 miles (@ £.25) to make the £24.50. Between 70 and 98 miles, there are 13 possible combinations which would yield £24.50: I.E. If he had traveled 955 miles before that date, then the next 80 miles would yield the total of £24.50, 45 miles @ £.35 and 35 @ £.25.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 39224876
Thanks for your comments - it was a interesting format of question, I guess trying to tantalise you into working something out when there wasn't really enough information available.

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