What bills do CEO's pay?

Or even know about?

I work in building maintenance. Yeah that means I’m the guy who is called if the toilets back up, the lights go out, the elevator is stuck, or the building is too cold. In some companies my job is contracted out while in others like ours I work for the company.

I wonder, in a big company where the company owns this big building (as opposed to leasing), does the CEO know what the company pays for things like water, heat, and electricity? How about smaller items like toilet paper, soap, and cleaning supplies? How about the cost of building and equipment upgrades like say new toilets, new carpet, or a new furnace?

Finally would the CEO actually write the check for any of these things or does everything go thru a billing department?

In a big company, I can’t see the CEO getting involved in details like writing checks for small things. Typically, there’s a facilities manager who oversees all of the building maintenance. Part of the facilities manager’s job is to write reports for the CEO to let him/her know exactly how much they are spending on building maintenance costs. The CEO does know exactly how much they pay for things like water, electricity,etc. and the CEO gets the report all neatly formatted by category and such so that the CEO can read through it quickly and get the big picture of where the company’s money is going. A major expense like a new furnace or a new roof air conditioning unit will likely require the CEO’s approval before a purchase order can be cut for it.

Usually a cleaning company will be contracted to come in after hours and vacuum, empty trash, and refill things like toilet paper and soap.

Bills for maintenance items will usually go through the accounting/billing department, though the facilities manager may have to write or approve checks. In our company, accounting generates a stack of checks each month, but the facilities manager has to sign them. If the facilities manager disputes a bill, he simply doesn’t sign the check and takes it back to accounting and they figure out what to do from there.

I find this an odd question. Even the lowliest employee usually has some idea of the structure of the company they work for. Management comes in layers and the higher you go, the less you know about the minutia of the organisation. A CEO is more concerned with strategy and planning than the price of bog rolls, and rightly so.

Also - hasn’t this question been asked before?

In the last big company I worked for, this would have been handled by an operations specialist, which would be on par (in that organization) with a senior manager. That puts about two levels of Directors between toilet paper orders and the CEO.

A CEO has people who hire people to hire people to contract sub-constrictors which have CEOs who hire people who hire people to have bulk lots of toilet paper shipped in.

Andy Rooney always said if he could talk to the President, the first question was 'How much money have you got in your pocket?" He wondered if the president, in his entire term of office, ever paid for anything, or handled any cash or signed a check. I forgot who the presidential candidate was, a couple decades ago, who was asked how much a gallon of milk costs his hoped-for voters, and he had no clue – he couldn’t even make a guess in the same order of magnitude.

Even things like his family’s Christmas presents, the Potus or a CEO just decides what to buy (or his wife tells him), and he has a personal staffer acquire it out of a personal budget.


There is a saying… “Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves!”

A good CEO will keep an eye on the expenses and come up with various ways to save money. For example I have seen outdoor LED light fixtures being installed at nationwide businesses (to replace older less energy efficient fixtures). So far as the CEO goes, he just may notice these things elsewhere and ask someone to “look into it”.

Little money saving things like that can make the difference of a company staying in business or not.

Although each corporation will be structured differently, I would guess that in a lot of companies, the CEO would be responsible for any single outlay over X dollars and that s/he has a series of managers each responsible for a sector of the company and each having a signing authority for a certain amount of money.

Periodically, these managers would have to report to the CEO on their performance and answer any questions. The CEO would then have to report to the board and answer any questions they might have.

URbanRedneck, for any reasonable sized company, the CEO might be looped in on a decision whether or not to lease or buy buildings. The CFO or a finance team or an admin team would be the ones that look into the cost of lease versus buy, what is the ROI, what is the impact on borrowing costs, are the operating expenses of the current owned buildings above/at/below industry standards, does it make sense to outsource building maintenance or use in-house employees.

Honestly, the CEO probably doesn’t even see something like this except perhaps during an annual review and it’s a bullet point or three.

Moderator Action

I thought this seemed familiar.

Since this is basically a duplicate, I am going to close this one.

Please do not start multiple threads on the same topic.

Thread closed.