Going potty is going to cost you!

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In other countries, paying to use a restroom isn't all that unusual. It's commonplace to pay for restroom use in London, and no one bats an eye. But instituting a practice like this isn't likely to go without notice in the United States.

A few cities already have public pay toilets, including New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh are doing it. Seattle's experiment with paid toilets (which cost the city $1 million each) was deemed a failure. And now a Burger King restaurant in Houston is one doing something like this, and I don't blame them.

Management says that vandalism of the bathrooms was costing too much, which prompted them to make the general public pay for use of the facilities.The restrooms in the Burger Kind take either a token or coins. Tokens are presumably reserved for paying customers of the restaurant.

Some say this is unfair, and businesses should provide free restrooms to the general public. I disagree, especially if it's the general public that is creating a mess in the facilities. Businesses should have a right to restrict the usage of their bathroom facilities to their paying customers. Providing bathroom facilities to anyone who walks in off the street is not the company's responsibility.

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.
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