In the business world, people travel all the time for certain and important reasons. Let us take those sales representatives and company executives. A lot of times, these business people travel for meeting or closing a deal with someone who is miles away from the company.
Oftentimes, these people use their personal credit cards to pay for their tickets, accommodation, meals and others. Consequently, the company or organization need to reimburse their expenditures. To acquire a refund, the employer will be ask to submit an expense report and follow the proper procedures for reporting and submitting the report.
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What Is an Expense Report?
An expense report is not only limited to the expenditures made during travels. As a general rule of thumb, it is a document that contains a detailed report incurred on a monthly, quarterly, or annually basis that records all the expenses made by an employee or organization. However, it is important to make sure that all the information listed in the report are accurate to ensure that the organization is not wasting money on unnecessary expenditures. In some cases, keeping track of the expenses allows the organization to identify the expenditures of the business that need to cut down in order to increase their revenue.
How an Organization Benefit from Expense Report
Although a majority number of organization would like to believe that their employees are trustworthy and reliable, unfortunately in some cases, some of them are not. Some employees would declare expenditures that are greater than what they had actually spent during the trips. That is why it is important for an organization to request an accurate expense report to make sure that they are financially protected against fraudulent employees.
Blowing up the actual cost of expense can have a negative effect on the organization’s financial department. Without proper documentation, employees can easily declare the inaccurate amount of expenses during his or her trip. Keep in mind that adding a small amount of the expense report can be disastrous no matter how profitable organization is.
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Writing a Business Expense Report
Employees who shouldered the expenses of an approved business trip are entitled for reimbursement from their employers. However, there is a proper procedure to be followed when writing a business expense report before the organization can refund all your expenditures. Check out the guideline for writing an expense report.
- Check the policy of an organization for submitting an expense report – Oftentimes, every organization has a set of rules to be followed when filling out and submitting expense reports. If you have the company manual, make sure to review the travel policy guide before writing. If you are unaware of the proper protocol, it is advisable to call the human resource department or approach your manager or supervisor.
- Request for a copy of the expense report statement – Once you have a obtained a copy, make sure to review every section before filling it out with information. Make sure to write the accurate details if you do not want to find yourself in serious trouble.
- Make sure you have all the receipts from your business trips – These are your supporting documents for your expenditures.
- Write down your name and the date and purpose of the trips.
- Keep track of your daily travel expenses – Make sure to record cost of your airfare, gasoline, car mileage, and other expenses you have paid on specific days, which could be included in a daily report. It is also advisable to provide explanations behind each expense on your report.
- Take the total daily amount of expense for each day – Be sure to double-check the sum for accuracy.
- Sign it along the date – Make sure to include and staple the receipts. Submit the full expense report to your supervisor.
If your organization or company is in need for a reliable expense report template to use, feel free to browse though our simple expense report templates.
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Expense Report Etiquette
Writing an expense report can be a tricky, especially if the organization does not have any specific expense policy. Knowing what to spend your money on during your business trip says a lot about you. Making unnecessary purchase can have negative impact on your reputation and decision making skills (well, unless you are planning to pay it and not the company). That is why we have gathered a list of dos and don’ts to follow in order to ensure the proper etiquette for business travel expense.
- Make sure to always ask for a receipt when purchasing, especially if it is necessary – This is because the company will require you to submit copies of your receipt and will only reimburse the total amount of your receipt. If you have made any purchases and failed to ask for a receipt, most companies are not liable to refund them.
- Use credit cards to pay for your expense – Since credit cards have a 30-day payment window, it will provide you enough time to get a refund before paying your monthly credit card dues. You can also use the credit card statement to track and document expenses
- Submit the report in a timely manner – As soon as you arrive from your business trip, make sure to submit an expense report along with the necessary receipts to your supervisor or manager.
- Rounding up the amount – If you have purchased or paid something that costs $47, avoid rounding it up to $50. You do not want the $3 dollars to cost you your job or affect your reputation, do you?
- Taking advantage – Let us say that you are having a dinner and want to enjoy a glass of wine. It is okay to purchase a glass of wine, but it is unjustifiable to add a couple of cocktails and order appetizers or desserts which you do not normally do when paying with your own money.
Before you leave this page, make sure to check out the different formats of our travel expense templates.