6 Steps To Create An Expense Report: A Guide For Small Businesses
Follow the 6 steps below to create an expense report for your small business.
1. Select a Template or Use an Accounting Software
You can choose between an expense report template or an expense tracking software to create an expense report. To create an expense report, you can either download a free expense report template or create an expense report from scratch.
Download QuickBooks Free Excel Expense Report Template
Preparing an expense report from scratch takes a lot of effort. QuickBooks has you covered with our free excel expense report.
With our excel expense report template you can easily enter data items in designated columns and add more columns for additional expense categories. Further, your calculations will be fast and accurate as our excel template automatically calculates the amount in the appropriate columns.
Download QuickBooks free Excel Expense Report Template
Use Expense Tracking Software to Generate Expense Reports
As a small business entity, preparing expense reports in Microsoft Excel is easy. But as your business grows along with the number of expenses, you may need to shift to an expense tracking software.
Expense tracking software allows you to easily connect your bank account with the expense tracking software, download transactions, categorise and add expenses, and get time on your side. You can also often capture receipt images through third-party app integrations that are available with the expense tracking software. This automates the process of creating an expense report.
2. Add or Delete Columns
As mentioned earlier, the Microsoft Excel expense report template comes with standard expense categories. You can edit these based on the type of expenses that your business entity incurs.
For instance, if your employees travel frequently for business needs, you need the ‘Travel and Meals’ column.
Therefore, expense reports help you to itemise expenses by the tax category. This fast tracks your taxes as there are certain expense categories on which deductions can be claimed by you as a business.
3. Report Expenses as a Different Line Item
Make sure that you report each expense separately in a different line and provide as much detail as possible.
For instance, provide information such as the client for which specific expenses were incurred so that you can track expenses effectively.
Furthermore, report expenses in the order as they have been incurred with the most recent expense towards the end.
Once all the expenses have been reported, add the amount of each expense including the tax amount.
4. Calculate the Total
As specified earlier, various expense categories have a subtotal as well as the total of all the expenses. Adding subtotals and the grand totals to your Expense Report make expense tracking easy. This is because you can easily see how much money you are spending for each expense category.
5. Attach Associated Receipts
Expense Reports are requests for reimbursement of expenses incurred by employees who are submitting such a report.
Therefore, they need to provide proof of the expenses incurred by them by attaching the receipts of the associated expenses.
They can provide a scanned copy of the receipts or provide a photocopy depending upon whether they are submitting reports electronically or in a printed format.
6. Print or Send the Report
Check the totals and subtotals before you print and send the expense report. Expense tracking software allows you to export the expense reports in Excel and PDF formats and send the reports via email.