Expense tracking is critical for the success of your business. Keeping track of expenses helps you maintain an accurate picture of your financials, pay invoices on time, and reimburse your employees promptly. However, it’s easy to fall into bad habits and disorganization in this area, resulting in lost receipts, late payments, and inaccurate project budgets. Having good expense-tracking systems in place will help you get a handle on this task and make your whole business run more smoothly.
Four Strategies for Keeping Track of Expenses
To streamline expense-tracking in your business, try one of these strategies.
Have an Organizational System: Receipts and invoices are easily lost or misplaced. Set up organizational systems to keep track of paper receipts until you have time to submit or process them. Keep an easily accessible envelope in your purse, briefcase, or travel bag to tuck all travel-related receipts for immediate safe-keeping, and coach other staff to do the same. Keep a designated folder on your desk for day-to-day receipts, and separate them by month if your responsibilities include storing them for long-term keeping. If you conduct a lot of your business on the go, consider a three-ring binder with zippered pockets for receipt safe-keeping and organization.
Identify Major Categories: Categorize all receipts accurately when you log them. Develop a prescribed list of categories for you and your staff to choose from when keeping track of expenses. It may vary depending on your industry, but some categories to include are:
- Client-related expenses (non-reimbursable)
- Reimbursable client expenses
- Travel expenses
- Office supplies
If you’re not able to log receipts immediately, write the appropriate category on the top of your receipt so your records are accurate when you officially record the expense. The category may seem obvious to you at the moment, but it’s easy to forget exactly what the expense was for, or for which project or client it was incurred.
Make a Regular Schedule: Financial details are easy to procrastinate in favor of day-to-day business operations, but to ensure accuracy in your financial records it’s necessary to record them in a timely manner. Make a regular schedule to tackle pending invoices, log outstanding receipts, and review reimbursement requests so your expense reports stay up-to-date. Set aside a recurring time each week to go over outstanding expense-related tasks, conduct a more detailed expense review once a month, and do an in-depth fiscal analysis quarterly. Mark these as recurring appointments on your calendar so you complete them at regular intervals.
Take Advantage of Technology: Technology can help you with keeping track of expenses in many ways. Apps or software programs allow for the immediate upload of receipts so they don’t get misplaced, and even facilitate the submission of reimbursement requests. These tools can even organize and store receipts so retaining paper copies is no longer necessary, and provide easy access to detailed reports so keeping an eye on project and company budgets is easier than ever.
The Best Platform for Keeping Track of Expenses
Simplify expense tracking with MindSalt! MindSalt Time & Expense lets your employees log expenses from anywhere, snap instant pictures of their receipts, and streamlines your company’s reimbursement process. Reduce the time you spend keeping track of expenses, and increase your budget and reporting accuracy. See what a difference MindSalt can make in your business – sign up for a free trial today!