It’s easy to set administrative tasks aside when you’re focused on the day-to-day details of running a business. While operations, sales, and customer support are essential, so is cash flow. If you don’t have a good handle on your financials, you may find yourself with a seemingly booming business but an empty bank account. Proper expense reporting will ensure your records are accurate, your invoices timely, and your rates sufficient. Here’s how to stay on top of cash flow tracking even when you’re busy with other things.
5 Tips for Expense Reporting
1. Keep business expenses separate.
Avoid mixing business and personal expenses; pay business-related expenses using a dedicated business checking account. If you’re an employee and your company expects you to front the money and request reimbursement after the fact, consider opening a credit card that you use solely for business purchases. A dedicated purchase card eliminates confusion between business and personal expenses and the itemized statements. This makes it easy to fill out your expense reporting forms at the end of the month.
2. Have a dedicated location for unreported business expenses.
Keep track of receipts so nothing gets lost. If you run up most of your expenses in the field, keep an envelope in your vehicle’s glove box and tuck them away as soon as you receive them. If most of your expenses are online purchases, print out the receipts and keep them in a folder in your office. If you itemize your expense report by client, make a quick note at the top so you don’t forget which account it belongs to. Once you’ve submitted each claim through the expense reporting process, make another note with the date you turned it in to avoid accidentally submitting it twice.
3. Don’t forget about mileage!
Even if you’re a sole proprietor and don’t bill clients for mileage driven, the gas costs and vehicle wear and tear are still costs of doing business and affect your bottom line. Keep a small notebook in your car to jot down the start & end mileage of your trips, and don’t forget to include these miles in your expense reporting. Even if you’re not billing clients or getting reimbursed yourself, you still need to keep track of these costs as they affect your overall profitability.
4. Have clear policies about billable and reimbursable expenses.
Set clear guidelines about what expenses are reimbursable to employees, what bills are paid directly by the company, and what costs are billable to the client. Clear policies allow you to communicate this to clients and employees in advance, preventing misunderstandings and ensuring consistency in your financial operations.
5. Use an expense reporting app.
An expense reporting app automates much of the expense reporting process and makes things easier for accounting and payroll staff, employees, and managers. Employees can upload photo receipts the minute an expense is incurred, items classified as “billable” can be invoiced automatically to the identified client, and managers can review and approve claims without the hassle of paperwork.
Expense Reporting at Your Fingertips
MindSalt Time & Expense makes expense reporting easy! MindSalt’s web-based platform allows business owners and employees to log expenses and upload backup documentation from anywhere, eliminating the antiquated paper-based process rife with errors and delays. Inaccurate and lost records become a thing of the past. Real-time updates allow managers to have a better handle on project expenses. Combine MindSalt’s expense reporting platform with their time tracking software to streamline your most time-consuming administrative tasks and give you more time to focus on your business. Sign up for a free trial today!