Creating a business expense report
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In many organisations, HR staff are the ones tasked to build business expense reports for employees.
These forms are for staff to complete after a business trip, or any occasion where they might need to claim back on expenses. Through viewing these documents, a business can determine the amount they need to pay in reimbursements.
For any small or medium-sized business, expenses can accumulate quickly. Consequently, a well-written, smartly-designed business expense report is essential for organising, monitoring and managing staff spending. This way, not so much as a penny is wasted.
Creating a business expense report: guidelines
The most important thing about an expense report is that it puts – and keeps – everybody on the same page.
A set of guidelines should accompany every expense sheet. To save paper, you can upload the guidelines online and list the corresponding URL at the bottom of every expense report. This ensures the instructions are always easily accessible from anywhere in the world.
Within the guidelines, it’s worth highlighting:
Have you specified what does and doesn’t qualify as a reclaimable expense?
For example, you may not have the budget to send all your staff first class when travelling abroad. If this is the case, it must be explicitly outlined in the guidelines.
It is also worth mentioning any pre-approval procedures for more expensive purchases; you may require staff to request sign-off before they purchase larger ticket items such as flights, events or entertainment for larger groups.
There should always be a deadline by which employees are required to submit expenses.
Delayed expense submissions can often lead to unclaimed expenses and surprises with profitability, whereas earlier deadlines get staff into the healthy habit of filing their spends right away.
Every company has a different business expense policy, but most will request receipts from their staff if possible. Having proof of purchase simply puts everybody’s mind at ease. Use your guidelines to remind staff of their obligation to acquire a receipt with every expense.
What’s worth including in your business expense report?
When you’re creating a business expense report, remember the five key pieces of information you must request from your employees:
- Expense type: stationery, fuel, tickets, supplies, food/drink
- Date of purchase
- Amount of each individual purchase
- Subtraction of advances
- Total amount of reimbursement requested
Asking for the above will ensure you have the necessary data to make informed decisions regarding your business expenses moving forwards.
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An Allstar card offers you greater control over your company expenses so you can keep costs down – with itemised VAT-compliant, HMRC-approved invoices ready to submit at a moment’s notice. Choose a card today or contact our team with any questions on 03303 333 567.