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What is an expense report?

An expense report, from a travel expense management perspective, is a detailed document used to track and document expenses incurred by an employee during business travel. This report typically includes a list of all expenditures such as transportation, lodging, meals, and other incidental costs. It serves several key purposes:

  1. Reimbursement: Employees submit expense reports to get reimbursed for their out-of-pocket expenses related to business travel.

  2. Accounting and Record-Keeping: Organizations use these reports for accurate financial accounting, budgeting, and record-keeping.

  3. Policy Compliance: They ensure that all expenses adhere to the company's travel policies and guidelines.

  4. Tax Compliance: Helps in maintaining proper documentation for tax purposes, especially for deductible expenses.

Typically, an expense report includes:

  • Employee Information: Name, department, and contact details.

  • Travel Details: Dates of travel, destination, and purpose of the trip.

  • Itemized List of Expenses: Detailed breakdown of expenses including date, type of expense, amount, and any supporting receipts or documentation.

  • Approval Section: Signatures or approvals from relevant supervisors or managers.

Expense reports can be created using spreadsheets, templates, or specialized software designed to streamline the process of expense tracking, submission, and approval.

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