How to use this expense report template
This downloadable expense report form is ready to use. Simply follow these steps:
Follow this link to download the expense report template
Complete the short form and the template will be sent to your email inbox
See the first sheet for an example of a completed expense report
In the second sheet, enter your name and other employee details at the top
In the expense sheet (the spreadsheet section) below, enter each employee expense individually. Include the date, description, expense details, and match the amount to the correct expense categories
Check that the subtotal (final column) is correct for each row
At the top of the page, check that each expense category has the right amount listed, and that the total expenses number is accurate. This should be all listed expenses added together.
Share this free download with every team member who takes business trips or has other related expenses. The form is printable, but can also be completed digitally and emailed to your finance team directly.
Ensure valid expense claims every time
Using this form ensures that you and your team always have valid expense reports, ready for reimbursement. The template includes every important aspect of the claim process, so all you need to do is fill it in.
The form can then be submitted to the finance team or financial controller directly, ready to be processed and paid in the next payroll run. This template also helps to ensure more accurate bookkeeping for the business overall, as every employee expense is recorded, along with the receipt.
What should an expense report include?
Accurate expense reporting is a key part of financial compliance for companies. Finance teams need to record every expense incurred by the company, whether through employee expense reports, credit card payments, invoices, or other payment method.
To make this process easy for finance teams, a complete expense report should include:
The employee's name, their team, and other identifying information (including an employee number, if applicable).
The date and location where the expense was incurred.
Each expense type (to allocate to the correct expense account).
The amount spent for each item, and the total amount requested for the expense reimbursement.
A valid receipt (confirming the date, merchant's name, and amount of tax paid).
Collecting and submitting receipts is critical in the expense reporting process. Expense claims are often rejected if a receipt is not included.
Common expense report questions
What is an expense reimbursement?
Business expenses are the normal costs of doing business that most companies have, including business travel, meals, and accommodation. These are sometimes paid by invoice or credit card, but often employee expenses are paid by the employee themselves. In this case, the company is obliged to pay the employee back (a reimbursement) within a reasonable delay.
What is a blank expense report template?
In order to claim expense reimbursements, employees typically need to submit a monthly expense report form detailing all of their expenses during a certain bookkeeping period.
A blank expense report template lets the user submit employee expenses for reimbursement by their employer. A worksheet (usually a Microsoft Excel file) lets the user fill in the specifics quickly and easily in the template provided.
What are personal expenses?
Some costs are deemed personal expenses rather than business expenses, and therefore won't be reimbursed. This might include food and drinks above an accepted limit, personal travel added onto a business trip, or other costs outside the company's approved expense types.
It can be useful to provide a business purpose for costs when completing an expense report form. Expense types that might look like personal expenses may be acceptable as business costs, if they're made with good reason.
Why do companies use expense reports?
Many employees and finance teams don't like the expense reporting process. It's tedious and adds extra administration for everyone involved. So why do companies everywhere rely on this system?
The chief reason is that many employees don't have access to proper payment methods. They don't have a company credit card or access to the bank details. So when they need to pay, they can either wait for someone to pay on their behalf (impossible during business travel), or they can pay out of pocket and wait for reimbursement.
This is seen as acceptable worldwide, when in reality it puts employees in financial debt on behalf of their companies. But until businesses offer employees more suitable payment types, they're stuck with employee expense reports.