An expense report template is essential for any business in which employees will be traveling or just requesting reimbursement for expenses in general. This article will describe the basic building blocks of an expense report, and provide you with a free expense report template to download.
If you prefer to compose your own expense report, there are a few necessary components you will need:
- Name and contact information for the person requesting reimbursement.
- An area to describe the general business purpose for which expenses were incurred, e.g. “Travel to San Jose to pitch business idea to venture capitalists”.
- A grid to itemize the expenses. Basic fields for the grid would be the date, description and amount of the expense.
- The grand total of all expenses.
Many expense reports include additional fields which depend on both your preferences, your business and your bookkeeping methods. Some of these additional fields are:
- Expense categories, e.g. Transportation, Meals & Tips, Entertainment.
- Mileage logged.
- Travel destination.
- If any payment was advanced, a breakdown of what was paid for by the company separate from what the employee is requesting reimbursement.
- Office-use only fields, i.e. signature of the person receiving the expense report, and whether or not the request has been approved.
- Expense reports are best composed in Excel or another spreadsheet document type because the employee can fill in the fields digitally, and have the itemized grid automatically calculate the grand total. Doing so will reduce the possibility of arithmetic errors.
Whether you want a generic template to use or a good starting point for your own custom format, feel free to download the following expense report templates:
The Excel and Open Document formats will be good for anyone who will be filling out these reports on their computer. I have also included a PDF version if you need to print and manually fill out a report.