As you push toward the holiday season, the light at the end of the tunnel slowly creeps closer and closer into sight. And while the end of the year is typically a joyous time, you have a dark cloud looming over your head – submitting your year-end expense report. Feeling the crunch? Consider these tips as your deadline approaches.
Do Your Homework
Compiling the information necessary for your expense report will be much easier if you know your company’s policies and procedures beforehand. Know when the deadline is to submit, and just what exactly it is you are supposed to be submitting. Also know the policy for receipts. You may not have to provide them if the expenditure was under a given amount. Alternative proof of payment may be accepted in lieu of a receipt, such as a credit card statement. Knowing the answers to these questions beforehand will allow you to adequately manage your time and successfully prepare your expense report.
Scrambling In A Pinch
Trying to remember an entire year’s worth of expenditures can prove difficult. Imagine a funnel: start with your biggest expenses, and work toward narrowing it down. Try to remember noteworthy events and trips that you took. Airfare and hotels are two of the best places to begin. As you begin to piece your trips together, think about your day-to-day itinerary. Did you travel locally? How? Did you eat? Where? Where there any other costs that popped up that day?
Once you have this rough outline down, it will be beneficial to flip through your receipts and your calendar. Being reliant on your calendar from the get-go may cause you to miss important events, whereas seeing certain entries after the fact may trigger your memory. Receipts can be used to fill in the blanks, as you gradually begin to piece your expense report together.
Don’t Forget The Details
Small expenditures that you wouldn’t normally think of can add up in the long run. Be sure to include expenses such as tips and parking. Tips paid in cash are easy to forget but important to remember, especially when considering there are no receipts for these transactions. These are business expenses, and should absolutely be claimed on your expense report.
This Shouldn’t Be An Annual Occurrence
Remember, if you find yourself scrambling this year, don’t let it happen again next year! There are a variety of programs that can be used for tracking expenditures for an expense report. Be proactive as the year goes along, so that you do not fall behind and put yourself behind the eight-ball. If you are reading this, I’m sure you already know that scrambling at the end of the year is never a fun endeavor.