Preparing expense reports | Traveldoo
Which rules need to be followed when preparing expense reports? What is the process for reimbursement?
Completing an expense report is often quite a complicated, time-consuming task, and seen as a tedious exercise within companies. Expense reports are, however, mandatory and strictly monitored by the tax authorities. They allow employees to claim reimbursement of their business expenses. To prepare an expense report according to the rules, it is important to familiarise yourself with the procedure, as well as certain specific requirements and conditions. The use of an expense report management solution is also recommended, in order to simplify the process of reimbursing business expenses.
How to create an expense report
Before preparing an expense report, it is important that you check to make sure which expenses are covered by a company:
- restaurant expenses (business meals)
- accommodation expenses (hotels, etc.).
- travel expenses (fuel, tolls, parking, public transport, etc.).
- NICT expenses (use of new technology tools)
- expenses for small office supplies and miscellaneous consumables
To be eligible for reimbursement, these expenses must be:
- strictly professional
- of a reasonable amount so that they cannot be regarded as fringe benefits
- accompanied by supporting documents or invoices.
The rules to be followed
Expense reports must contain the following information to ensure that they comply with tax requirements, so as to avoid a tax adjustment:
- the expense report number (as with invoices)
- the date or period
- the name of the employee
- his/her department
- the reason
- the place
- the expense type (business meals, taxis, train tickets, etc.)
- the amount excl. taxes and incl. taxes
- the description of the expenses.
The process for preparing expense reports
For business trips or business meals, the process for completing the expense reports is always the same:
The employee pays the expenses up front, prepares his/her expense report incorporating the information detailed above and provides the supporting documents.
- The manager approves the expenses
- The accountant checks the supporting documents
- The finance department proceeds with the reimbursement.
It should be noted that expense reports should then be carefully recorded and filed in the same way as invoices:
- by year
- by number
- with the (original) supporting documents attached.
Which format should be used for preparing expense reports:
To create an expense report, several options are available:
This method is suitable for small businesses that process low volumes of expense reports and may not be comfortable with information technology resources. There are major disadvantages, however: everything is hand-written, there is a risk of losing or misplacing the logbook, depending on the handwriting it may be difficult to read, limited space on the form, quite high costs, etc.
Creating a template in Word or Excel then printing the expense report in PDF format
This method is certainly relatively inexpensive but has the same disadvantages as the hard copy format.
The creation of an expense report template using Excel
This method offers numerous benefits: standardisation of the claim, speed, export to PDF, digital filing, etc. There are also disadvantages, however: there is no option to pre-fill data, attach supporting documents or make entries on the move, and no interoperability with business applications.
Expense report management software
Traveldoo supplies accountants with comprehensive and intuitive expense management software. This solution, Traveldoo expense, simplifies the process of reimbursing business expenses through its effective and customisable tools that facilitate processing and reduce reimbursement times.
It provides numerous benefits:
- automation of the creation and management of expense reports
- centralisation of all your data and access to it at anytime and anywhere with the mobile application.
It offers innovative features:
- geolocalisation of expenses
- digitisation of documents in real time
- voice recognition, etc.
The legal deadline for the reimbursement of an expense report
There is no established legal deadline for employees to submit supporting documents to their employer. However, the company may set one internally.
The preparation of expense reports should therefore be carried out carefully, methodically and in accordance with the rules and conditions. The expense report management solution, Traveldoo Expense, will enable you to optimise the process of reimbursing your business expenses. Find out more now!