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Automated Expense Management Software

April 6, 2021
Bill Kimball

business expense reporting

Below, you will find a detailed description of what’s included in each business expense category and how to qualify for the tax deduction. A business expense category is an organized way to group expenses for tax reporting purposes. It’s important to know what type of expenses are included or not included in a category to apply the appropriate rules when it comes to deducting them on your tax return. Accounting software like QuickBooks can help you to manage your business expenses throughout the year. With QuickBooks, you can track all of your business expenses by taking a snapshot of receipts with the mobile app or connecting your bank and credit card accounts to QuickBooks.

Our priority at The Blueprint is helping businesses find the best solutions to improve their bottom lines and make owners smarter, happier, and richer. That’s why our editorial opinions and reviews are ours alone and aren’t inspired, endorsed, or sponsored by an advertiser. Editorial content from The Blueprint is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team. Read our review of this popular small business accounting application to see why. AccountEdge Pro is designed to make life easier for small business owners.

Use this detailed travel expense report template to keep track of business trip expenditures. The template includes mileage tracking, other transportation costs, lodging, meals, and more. There is also space to list miscellaneous expenses that may not fit in the other categories. You can include contact information for employer and employee, as well as info on the travel destination and purpose for the trip. If you need to track small business expenses and develop a balanced budget, this business budget template calculates costs for goods and services. Enter your operating expenses from marketing to payroll and office supplies, and weigh these against your income.

Some businesses choose to use electronic accounting software programs or some other type of electronic system to capture and organize their records. The electronic accounting software program or electronic system you choose should meet the same basic recordkeeping principles mentioned above. All requirements that apply to hard copy books and records also apply to electronic records. For more detailed information refer to Publication 583, Starting a Business and Keeping Records. Tim Yoder is a subject matter expert at Fit Small Business focusing on small business bookkeeping, accounting, and tax content. Tim is a Certified TSheets Pro, QuickBooks ProAdvisor for both the Online and Desktop products, as well as a CPA with 25 years of experience.

  • Rent Expense – Rent is any amount you pay for the use of property you do not own.
  • Expenses are itemized, and the total reimbursement amount is calculated for you, minus any advance payments.
  • Applicant Tracking Choosing the best applicant tracking system is crucial to having a smooth recruitment process that saves you time and money.
  • Product Reviews Unbiased, expert reviews on the best software and banking products for your business.

A small business may ask its employees to submit expense reports to reimburse them for business-related purchases such as gas or meals. Or a small business owner can use expense reports to track project spending and get organized for tax time. Depending on your business needs, an expense report may be lengthy and detailed or a simple form. It will typically include an itemized list of expenses along with a description for each item. Expenses may be separated into categories, such as mileage, meals, hotel costs, or employee training.


Easily manage and assign budgets to groups or individuals and see spend in real-time.

This template provides a detailed record of expenses for each day of the week. You can edit the expense categories to match your needs, whether it’s travel costs, shipping charges, business meals, or other expenses. There is room for describing the business purpose for different expenses, the payment type, and subtotals. Rather than waiting until tax season or the end of your financial reporting period to track incidental costs, you should have a system in place to record your expenses. By requiring you and your employees to file routine expense reports, you’ll have the documents you need in the event of a financial dispute or audit. Not to mention, accurately tracking your expenses will help you budget better for the years ahead. An expense report is a form that itemizes expenses necessary to the functioning of a business.

business expense reporting

Purchases, sales, payroll, and other transactions you have in your business will generate supporting documents. Supporting documents include sales slips, paid bills, invoices, receipts, deposit slips, and canceled checks. These documents contain the information you need to record in your books.

How Do Businesses Keep Track Of Expenses?

For additional information, refer to Publication 535, Business Expenses. For example, if you borrow money and use 70% of it for business and the other 30% for a family vacation, you can deduct 70% of the interest as a business expense. Refer to chapter 4 of Publication 535, Business Expenses, for information on deducting interest and the allocation rules. Some of your expenses may be included in figuring the cost of goods sold. The cost of goods sold is deducted from your gross receipts to figure your gross profit for the year.

However, there is a comprehensive list of common IRS business expense categories applicable to most businesses. In addition, streamlining the process of tracking your business expenses will ensure that you don’t miss out on any tax deductions. It’s always a great time to implement a system for documenting and tracking business expenses. Whether you run an independent business or have multiple employees, a systemized approach for recording expenses has many benefits. Not only will it keep you organized and on budget, it may even boost your bottom line by helping you eliminate avoidable expenses over time. Since it’s easy for small business expenses to fall through the cracks, it’s usually beneficial to designate a minimum frequency for submitting reports to keep yourself and your employees on track. This template summarizes credit card expenses to track business purpose and amount spent.

However, if you have an expense for something that is used partly for business and partly for personal purposes, divide the total cost between the business and personal parts. These costs are a part of your investment in your business and are called capital expenses. To be deductible, a business expense must be both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your trade or business.

Either way, use an expense tracker template for documentation purposes. If you keep these expenses separate you will have a better understanding of your business’ costs. It also serves as an assurance that you will claim the exact amount of tax-deductable expenses come tax season. Using an Excel table, report your business trip expenses with this elegant, accessible template. If you use your car for both business and personal purposes, you must divide your expenses based on actual mileage. Refer to Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses. For a list of current and prior year mileage rates see the Standard Mileage Rates.

The practice of most small businesses when tracking expenses is by using the cash accounting method where you record income when you receive it and expenses when making payments. Use this template to track estimated against the actual cost for each aspect of an event. As such, the report acts both as an expense report and a budget because it provides an added layer of data that makes sure that the event stays on track. In many cases, employees use their personal vehicles for business trips.

Discover A Better Way To Manage Expense Reporting And Finance Operations

By requiring that expense reports be submitted at least monthly or quarterly, you can ensure that your accounting records are up-to-date. In addition, you’ll be able to verify that employees are reimbursed for business expenses they’ve incurred in a timely manner. Once you’ve determined the frequency that makes the most sense for your business, make sure to communicate it to everyone filing expense reports to avoid lapses. Taxes are another big reason small businesses need to use expense reports. This article covers all the most common deductible expenses for freelancers, the self employed, sole proprietors, contractors and more. Some businesses require employees to submit a weekly expense report so that expenses are tracked and reimbursed at consistent intervals.

This article looks in-depths at the types of expenses small businesses typically have. An employee can also submit a monthly expense sheet that logs all their business-related purchases over a month.

business expense reporting

Business Checking Accounts BlueVine Business Checking The BlueVine Business Checking account is an innovative small business bank account that could be a great choice for today’s small businesses. You should concentrate on making an expense sheet that is both effective and perfect. For this, you can either create it yourself or use a free template that you download online. For all the above reports to be accurate, indicate the item immediately after or before buying and keep the receipts.

Applicant Tracking Choosing the best applicant tracking system is crucial to having a smooth recruitment process that saves you time and money. Appointment Scheduling Taking into consideration things such as user-friendliness and customizability, we’ve rounded up our 10 favorite appointment schedulers, fit for a variety of business needs. CMS A content management system software allows you to publish content, create a user-friendly web experience, and manage your audience lifecycle. The categories that you use for the columns of the spreadsheet will determine how you will break down the methods by which your business will spend money.

Calculate the total amount that your business has spent on each of the categories by adding the right formula. If you list down the expenses, it becomes easier for you to create categories or add to existing groups. Depending on your business’s industry, you likely have certain types of expenses more often than others. Retirement Plans – Retirement plans are savings plans that offer you tax advantages to set aside money for your own, and your employees’ retirement. For example, new cooking equipment is purchased for a soap-making business. This cost isn’t an expense as it was bought to generate more income.

The good news is that the vast majority of your business expenses are deductible. Just be sure you’re tracking them properly in order to take advantage of them, and if you have any questions about what is and isn’t deductible, it’s always best to refer them to your accountant or CPA. With automated receipt categorizing, FreshBooks makes it easy to track and later deduct all allowable expenses and is also a good option for those preparing expense reports. Here are some of the best accounting software applications for tracking your business expenses. While it’s certainly possible to track expenses using a business expenses list, or by entering expenses on a spreadsheet, come tax time, you’ll appreciate the ability to extract those expenses easily. Plus you have the security of having adequate backup and a solid audit trail in place, should you ever be audited.

When setting up your vendors, enter a default expense code or category if possible. This links the vendor to the correct expense automatically, eliminating the need to manually code vendor invoices. For instance, in December of 2019, you receive a bill from Atlas Roofing for repairs completed earlier in the month. Looking for the best tips, tricks, and guides to help you accelerate your business? Use our research library below to get actionable, first-hand advice. News Learn how the latest news and information from around the world can impact you and your business. Beginner’s Guides Our comprehensive guides serve as an introduction to basic concepts that you can incorporate into your larger business strategy.

By setting this up during the vendor setup process, you can eliminate the need to allocate the expense when it’s entered. If you’re using the cash method of accounting, you cannot deduct that expense for 2019, but it can be deducted in 2020, when you pay the bill. Some of the most common expense categories include utilities, travel, salaries and other wages, and rental expense, but there are many more that you should be aware of. Get clear, concise answers to common business and software questions.

business expense reporting

Get up and running fast with streamlined implementation and solution building to address your immediate business needs. For additional information, refer toRecordkeeping for Employersand Publication 15, Circular E Employers Tax Guide. Tim is a Certified TSheets Pro, QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and CPA with 25 years of experience. Teresa Kersten, an employee of LinkedIn, a Microsoft subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors.

You need a business expense report; it is a list of all the things purchased in the course of performing tasks such as charges for gas, meals, painkillers, antiseptics or anything that used the money. Taxes – You can deduct various federal, state, local, and foreign taxes directly attributable to your trade or business as business expenses.