As a way to monitor cash flow within any kind of business enterprise or organization, creating expense reports is needed. This is an important tool that helps keep track the different payables and transactions that a person or division does within a company.
And if you are interested in understanding how an expense report works and how to ensure that you create reliable expense report templates, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we will teach you just that. In addition, we will also share examples of downloadable expense report templates. Check them out below!
Elements of A Good Expense Report
To start this article, we begin by sharing the most essential features or elements that should be present in an expense report for it to be considered as a compelling report. Read and study each element so that you can seamlessly incorporate them into your own expense reports. Read on…
1. Data Visualization: An expense report is basically a rundown of all the items paid by a person or group of people within a specific period of time. To organize all these data, it is best to use data visualization tools like tables, charts, or graphs. This allows business managers and finance officers to determine and check out relationships between purchases and how they are made.
2. Latest Accurate Data: Expense reports deal with money: how it is spent, who spent it, where and when it was spent. And this report needs to be updated and to be accurate as it affects how different fiscal decisions within a company or organization are made. Choose an expense report template that allows you to correctly keep track of all the monetary transactions done within your business or organization.
3. Concise Explanations: As a formal report, an expense report needs to include concise explanations of any conclusions or tables included in the report. Choose an export report template or create one that has ample space for text to write these explanations. Remember that most people who read these reports may only skim through the document and glance at the tables or charts. A well-worded report summary or conclusion can help anyone understand the entire report quickly.
4. Right Format: There is no standard format to follow when it comes to writing an expense report. However, choosing the right report format will help make it easy to understand. You may choose a format that uses a combination of tables, charts, text boxes, and other data visualization tools. Find the right arrangement or layout that will allow you to best create a compelling narrative for your expense report.
5. Branding Identity Designs: Another important element that should be present in any expense report is your organization’s or business’ branding identity designs. This refers to the business letterhead designs, logo designs, emblems, and even your business or organization name. Adding these to your expense report helps make the document appear more formal and credible.
And those are the top five elements that should be present in any expense report. Incorporate them into your expense report template design to make sure that you end up with compelling report documents.
10+ Expense Report Templates
Take a look at all the printable expense report templates that we have included below. Each report template is fully downloadable and editable so that you may tweak it to match your organization’s branding designs.
Expense Report Form Template
Annual Expense Report Template
Travel Expense Report Template
Auto Expense Travel Report Template
Annual Sales Expense Report Template
Business Expense Report Template
Company Expense Report Template
Daycare Expense Report Template
Expense Report Template
Free Simple Expense Report Template
Monthly Expense Report Template
Simple Project Expense Report Template
Travel Expense Report Template
Vehicle Expense Report Template
University Expense Report Template
Weekly Expense Report Template
Individual Travel Expense Report Template
Simple Tips For an Excellent Expense Reporting
Creating a compelling expense report is not for the faint of heart. After all, this formal document is filled with numbers that corresponds to real money being spent and tracked. A balance between accuracy and simplicity in presentation needs to be maintained at all times.
To help small business owners, managers, and even housemakers accomplish this, we have compiled a few report-writing tips below. Read and internalize each tip so that you may create the best expense report.
1. Simplicity is key: When it comes to your expense report’s template design, it pays to keep it as simple as possible. Choose a report template design that lets your data shine. Do away with report formats that include walls of text. The latter makes the report appear too cluttered and difficult to understand while the former will emphasize the one thing that your report is all about.
2. Properly label all the tables and charts: As we have mentioned earlier, the best expense reports are those that seamlessly combine text and visual elements. So if you are using bar charts or tables on your expense report, make sure that all the parts of the chart or table are labeled correctly. This aids the reader in understanding what the graph or table is for. This is especially important for those who just skim through expense reports and pay more attention to the tabular summaries.
3. Create a standard expense report form template for your organization: For companies and establishments that routinely monitor the company expenses, it pays to develop a standard expense report form that can be used by anyone in your organization. This way, it will be easier to keep track of and create a bigger report out of these micro-reports later on.
4. Opt for e-receipts or digital transactions: To avoid the hassle of manually reconciling printed receipts with actual purchases and other commercial invoice transactions, you (and your organization or company) may invest in digital and automated bank statements. This allows your company accountant or finance officers to receive e-receipts and other digital proofs of transactions. With this method, it will also be easier to store data and files.
5. Schedule routine expense reporting: In addition to the expense reporting tips listed above, organizations may also greatly benefit when they require their employees and management teams to create expense reports on a regular basis. For example, you may institute the creation quarterly or annual expense reports. With this method, your organization is more likely to comply and meet government and industry income and tax reporting regulations.
The list of tips shared above is not an all-inclusive list. As you grow accustomed to creating expense reports, you will learn more report-writing hacks that you can use to help improve the expense reporting process that your organization uses.
Types of Expense Reports
Expense reports are categorized according to object, event, or activity they are created from. Listed below are the most common types of expense reports.
- Travel Expense Reports
- Sales Expense Reports
- Project Expense Reports
- Vehicle Expense Reports
- Company Expense Reports
Expense Report Sizes
Expense reports are document reports. Therefore, they follow the standard report document sizes. These are either A4 or US paper sizes.
- A4 Paper Size – 210 mm by 297 mm or 8.27 inches by 11.69 inches
- US Paper Sizes – Letter (216 mm by 279 mm or 8.5 inches by 11.0 inches), Legal (216 mm by 356 mm or 8.5 inches by 14.0 inches), Junior Legal (127 mm by 203 mm or 5 inches by 8 inches), or Ledger (279 mm by 432 mm or 11 inches by 17 inches).
Expense Report FAQs
What is an expense report template?
An expense report template is a pre-formatted document file that contains image placeholders, text boxes, and other design elements needed to create an expense report. With a pre-made report template, all you need to do is add your own data and other branding designs and then correlate your actual business invoices to the template. Then you will be able to print out and distribute the expense report.
What to include in an expense report?
The most common pieces of information included in an expense report are: Name of the Business, List of Tracked Expense Transactions, Amount of Each Transaction, When and Where the Transaction Occurred, Person Involved with the Transaction, Receipt or Invoice of the Transaction, and a brief explanation or summary of all the expense transactions.
What tools are used to create an expense report?
The most common software tools used to create an expense report are Microsoft Excel, Mac Numbers, Microsoft Word, PDF, and Mac Pages. Sometimes, programs like Adobe Illustrator and InDesign can also be used.
What is the difference between an expense report and an invoice?
A printed invoice is a physical or digital proof of purchase or of an expense transaction. An expense report, on the other hand, is a list of all the expense transactions that occurred with a period of time or done by a person or department. The latter, therefore, will consist of multiple invoices.
We hope that all the pieces of information shared in this article will help you create the best and most expense report for your organization or company. Do not forget to change bookmark this page so that you can refer back to all the tips and template examples found here. And for your other business template needs, do check out the rest of our website.