How to create expense reports

Written by candace n. smith
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How to create expense reports
Credit card bills are used for expense reports purposes. (financial report image by PaulPaladin from

An expense report is a report that tracks expenses incurred by corporate employees for business purposes. Business expenses can include charges for gas, business meeting meals, personal meals while on business, transportation costs, parking and hotel stays. Original receipts from cash and credit card purchases have to be kept and attached to the expense report for submission to the accounting department. Expense reports are submitted by the employee for company reimbursement. The itemised expense amounts are compared against the totals of the receipts. A check is cut after the report is processed and approved by a manager.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Log of expenses
  • Original receipts
  • Template expense form

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  1. 1

    Open an expense report template. Expense report templates can be downloaded from computer office programs or found through an online service. Larger companies will often have standard forms for employees to access on websites or internal intranet sites.

  2. 2

    Gather all business related receipts and attach them to the back of the expense report form or to a separate blank piece of paper. Original receipts from food purchases, gas, airline tickets and hotels will be needed for expense reporting. Expense envelopes can be used to keep up with loose receipts.

  3. 3

    Complete the required fields on the expense report. An assigned employee number, trip name or business purpose, a date and trip location are all required. Expense descriptions should be detailed and include the other parties involved with the expense, such as dinner meeting attendees.

  4. 4

    Separate the business expenses by category. Meals, gas, hotel, airfare should be listed separately in the designated area on the expense report. Expense reports are broken up by transportation, lodging and meals.

  5. 5

    Enter the expense amount in the total field on the form. Totals should include tips and taxes or other fees that were applied. Restaurant receipts should note the tip amount as well as receipts for taxis or other forms of transportation, tips should be handwritten on the receipt.

  6. 6

    Total the amounts in all the fields. Online templates and other prefixed forms will often have formulas inputted into the form so that the totals are automatically calculated.

  7. 7

    Add up the hard copy receipts. Compare the totals from the expense report and the loose receipts to make sure the amounts are the same. Any errors will cause delay in expense reimbursement.

  8. 8

    Sign and date the expense report. Submit the signed expense report to an authorised manager for approval. Managers will review the expense for payment.

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