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Just recently, I took a job as a DBA (Database Administrator) in a huge financial company. One of the Databases I mantain is the accounting database, where every single penny spent on anything by anyone in the company is registered.

That got me thinking. How would Bruce Wayne justify all the expenses he has made for his Batman persona? The batmobile, the gadgets, probably the batcave construction, the suit...I could go on, and on. After all, most if not all of those things are based on Wayne Enterprises own investigation and technology division.

Now, I know in the Nolan trilogy some accountant caught that and tried to blackmail Lucius Fox, only to be "persuaded" not to. But what about in the other Batman continuities? (Comics, cartoons, TV shows).

Can he just do whatever he wants with his company money only because he's Bruce Wayne?

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    How do you think black ops in the military get funded? Ops in the CIA? I'm sure there are a few line items that get inflated. In the DCAU, Batman says "line item in wayne aerospace" – CBredlow Apr 21 '16 at 2:57
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    Damn one percenter. He's as corrupt as the night is long. – Major Stackings Apr 21 '16 at 2:59
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    He is also independently wealthy. I am sure there is no accountability for his private bank accounts. – Skooba Apr 21 '16 at 12:41
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    He could just fill out a short form and take the tax hit. That way there'd be no reason for anyone to know what he spends the rest of his money on, and generally the IRS doesn't audit short forms. Even if they did, all they could do is to investigate to see if he has any additional income that wasn't reported. – Howard Miller Jul 5 '16 at 3:58
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    @GeneralDecline - Yup. He could spend the same money and effort with jobs and after school programs and there'd be far less crime in the first place. Instead he puts on a vigilante suit and goes out at night beating up the hapless employees of those who do provide jobs and afterschool programs. – T.E.D. Jul 25 '16 at 14:28
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With the help of Lucius Fox

In most iterations of the mythos, Bruce funnels technology and resources from Wayne Enterprises with the help of its CEO, Lucius Fox.

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DCComics.com has this to say about Mr. Fox:

If Alfred Pennyworth is the man behind the Bat—the voice of reason and emotional support for the Dark Knight—Lucius Fox is the man behind Bruce Wayne, providing him with the technology and gadgetry he needs while single-handedly maintaining the financial integrity of Wayne Enterprises.

As CEO, Lucius presides over the strategy and management of Bruce Wayne's multi-billion dollar company, ensuring it remains profitable while remaining ethical. Very intelligent and with a knack for business that’s second to none, Lucius plays a crucial role in ensuring the financial security of the business, which allows Bruce to concentrate on his more nocturnally inclined activities as Batman. Whether or not Lucius is fully aware of his employer's vigilantism is unclear, but he has admitted that he prefers to retain a level of "plausible deniability." Regardless, Lucius does tend to allocate funds toward research and development projects that would be incredibly beneficial to the Dark Knight's cause.

Lucius Fox's resourcefulness and business acumen place him alongside Alfred and Commissioner Gordon as a valuable asset to the Dark Knight, without whom Batman's success would be much more difficult to achieve…if not outright impossible.

What if the hero-funding was ever questioned?

It's worth taking note of the bolded text from the quote that says that Lucius single-handedly maintains the financial integrity of Wayne Enterprises. A typical DBA, financial officer, or other employee wouldn't be suspicious because there is no illegitimate activity going on. Everything Fox provides for Batman presumably has a legitimate purpose within the company he can refer to if anything was ever questioned.

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Here's the thing. You're thinking this through from the point of a company having to report their money and thinking, "Bruce gets all his toys from Wayne Tech so they have to hide it in some way." This isn't the case. He uses Wayne Tech R&D, but nothing off the books in that way. And anything he does use like that it's replicated on his scale, not using Wayne Tech, but however he does it; personal workshop, personal manufacturing, hiring out people, etc. There is no "hiding things on the books". Lucious doesn't do anything with the financial in regards to what you're asking. What he does is fund allocation and help give Bruce access to and apprised of that information without Bruce having to look into it directly or allocate funds for projects directly and look suspicious.

This brings us back to the question at hand, "the how does he fund it all?" It's an insane answer, but there are 2 sources. Any finances he does that has to do with Wayne Enterprises is Petty Cash. He does use this for various things, mainly on the fly when needed things that turn up right that second things. The other source is, as I said, insane. It's his liquid assets that he has. Obviously he doesn't keep all his cash on hand, but he assuredly has millions on hand in Wayne Manor.

I know you're thinking that it's impossible, because noone is that rich. Even the richest men on Earth don't have that kind of money to keep that much on hand. I'd agree that it's ludicrious to assert that this is where the money comes from (well that which can't be written off in some other way for example, hiring construction crews to build supports and such in caves under a house isn't all that strange when the entire area is on a fault line with sink holes and caves running through it...) but in the case of Bruce Wayne, it is true and Bruce Wayne really is "that rich". How rich you ask? Bruce Wayne is the primary owner of the biggest most successful conglomerates in his world, many of his companies being worth multi-billions and he's the primary stake holder of those too. That puts him as richer than any person on real Earth you might be thinking of with that alone. He is also finances a good number of all the business in Gotham (it's something like 1 in 4 to 10. It's been a while since I saw the number). So he's got lots of capital coming in from all of that, but then he also has his Mother's family personal wealth (The Kanes. I think they went Bankrupt though I forget) and Father's family's personal wealth which was separate from the corporate endeavors. The Wayne Fortune has a bunch of literal gold bars like fort knox as a part of it, but ignoring trying to find out what else it has in it there is only 1 thing that is really important from it, and that is Bruce Wayne literally owns 1/3 of Gotham... before getting into any of that other ownership that his Company or those businesses own or anything like that. All the land that is Gotham, at least 1/3 of it is owned by Bruce Wayne. So what does this mean? Gotham is one of the biggest cities in the world and is supposed to be equivelant to a New York. Theoretically Gotham's land should be worth more than New York's and New York's land is, if I remember right, the most valuable in the world.

In other words Bruce Wayne is literally worth Trillions of dollars without even discussing his corporate holdings, probably in the multi hundreds, if not tens of trillions, not Billions, Trillions. He has that much cash to just have on hand.

This fact, along with the Playboy, risk taking, crazy buying, persona hides all the costs he needs. And yes "Batman" is a multi-million dollar expense to set-up, but not as expensive as people think, because they things that generally get trashed aren't as expensive as you might think, or don't get trashed in the way that makes them expensive...

Another thing that hides it, which is weird, is that he is constantly upgrading and manufacturing things that are expensive like the different Batwings and Batmobiles. It looks strange for you to have a sudden expense that just happens to match the cost of repairing something that Batman just lost. It doesn't look strange if your costs are constant.

So... Lots of untraceable money + understanding how things look to people who investigate this stuff + being able to explain a lot of things due to the circumstance of Gotham

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    This user put a lot of time into this answer. Surely, whoever downvoted this, can take a bit of their time explaining why they think this is not a good answer? – Philipp Flenker Jun 13 '17 at 9:58
  • @PhilippFlenker i get mildly annoyed by this too sometimes. But most downvoters dont take the time to explain why. – Cherubel Jun 13 '17 at 10:47
  • While I have no specific arguments with the logic, the downvotes may have been because this appears to be opinion, mostly without explicit backing from the comics (or movies or cartoons). (I did not downvote). – RDFozz Jun 13 '17 at 16:34
  • If someone wants to go and look up the specific reference they can. You can go read the 4000+ issues to find them Catyclism, NML, and the comics after that for how much he owns. Parts of it are from The Return of Bruce Wayne after Final Crisis. Parts are from Legends of the Dark Knight or Shadows of the Bat in parts of them talking about Wayne History. Also Grayson and Drake mention some stuff while Bruce is believed to be dead and other places. There's also an issue the states the value of everything in the cave and what they have on hand and how it's done roughly. Dunno where it is though. – Durakken Jun 21 '17 at 6:58

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