Business Templates
Expense report template

What is an expense report template?

Expense reports are itemized breakdowns of business-related transactions by an employee. The employee uses it to log any expenses they incur that need to be reimbursed by the company.

What is an expense report used for?

It’s up to the business to decide the cadence on which expense reports are submitted, reviewed, and reimbursed. They’re often submitted weekly, monthly, quarterly, or on an as needed basis.

Finding the right cadence of report submission is a process of minimizing the cost of expense reports. Too frequent of a cadence means unnecessary labor costs processing more reports than necessary; not frequent enough and your financial reporting will be consistently out of date.

Our template simplifies the expense reporting process by giving a clear structure of what information is needed. Your employees know what to provide and you’re getting what you need to make reimbursements and update your reporting consistently.

How does an expense report work?

Generally speaking, expense reporting work in five parts:

  1. The employee pays out of pocket to cover business expenses
  2. The transaction is recorded in an expense report with an itemized breakdown
  3. Supporting documents like a receipt are added to verify what was purchased and for what amount
  4. The expense report is submitted for review by the finance team
  5. Reimbursements are made and the business updates their financial reporting with the expense information
Expense report process

Some workflows may have additional steps. For example, there may be multiple people that need to approve an expense report before it gets to the finance team.

What information should an expense report template include?

Let’s take a look at what an expense report template looks like and the information that needs to be included.

Expense report template

Our expense report template contains the following essential information:

  1. Name: Who is submitting the expense report.
  2. Department: What team the employee belongs to and the expenses are being allocated to.
  3. Manager name: Who oversees the employee and can verify the validity of the transaction.
  4. Approved by: Who is reviewing the expense report for approval and reimbursement.
  5. Date: When the transaction occurred.
  6. Type of reimbursement: The expense category of the transaction.
  7. Amount: The full amount of the transaction submitted for reimbursement.
  8. Total: The dollar amount requested to be reimbursed.
  9. Vendor: Where the transaction occurred.
  10. Description: What was purchased and what purpose it served.

Expense reports are customizable to best suit your needs. While these ten items are a framework of what’s needed, add additional fields to capture any information that isn’t covered above.

How to use a business expense report template

Your employees should take the following steps to complete an expense report using our template:

1. Fill out the basic information of the employee name (cell C5), department (C6), and manager (C7)

Basic company information in expense report

2. Define the purpose or project the report is attached to (F8)

3. Fill in the approved mileage reimbursement rate (H5) and per diem rate (H6)

4. The start and end date can be left untouched as they automatically update as transactions are entered

5. Starting at line 12, enter transactions filling out the Date, Amount, Vendor, and Description while also choosing the Type of Reimbursement from the drop down menu; the total column is automatically populated based on the Type of Reimbursement selected

Reimbursement line items in an expense report

6. Repeat step 5 for each expense that’s be submitted for reimbursement

7. Once all expenses are included, export the sheet as a PDF that can be submitted to the manager

8. The manager can sign the PDF in the Approved By field and then submit the document to the finance team for reimbursement

Automate business expense reports with expense management software

Save the time that goes into expense reports by adopting a platform built for managing expenses without the extra effort.

Expense management software (like ours) give you simplified, automated solutions that save you from traditional, manual workflows. That means less forms, less documents, and less waiting on the submission of an expense report to get your financial reporting updated.

Start with our template, but reach out for a demo if you’re feeling like you need to make the switch.

Expense report template FAQ

What is an expense report template used for?

Expense report templates are used to give employees an easy-to-use framework to request reimbursements for expenses covered out of pocket. They ensure that employees are providing the necessary information for the business to review, verify, and record the reported expenses.

Why should businesses use an expense report template?

Using an expense report template helps cut out some of the guesswork with employee reimbursements. Providing a structure for reporting reimbursements helps enforce compliance since it’s clear what needs to be provided in a successful request.

The consistency our expense report template provides helps you process reimbursements more efficiently and accurately.

Who can benefit from an expense report?

Businesses of all types and sizes benefit from expense reports so long as they’re reimbursing employees for expenses they cover out of pocket. The more transactions you’re reimbursing, the more you’ll benefit from a template.

Generally speaking, businesses with employees who travel for work or are constantly on the go and covering any unexpected expenses will benefit the most from an expense report.

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