Expense reports

Expense report template: benefits, instructions and alternatives

First of all, here are 7 good reasons to use a template for your expense reports:

Printing a receipt
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Expense report template: benefits, instructions and alternatives

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First of all, here are 7 good reasons to use a template for your expense reports:

  • The template is essential to simplify the internal compliance process (certain information is required by thetax authorities and may be subject to a financial penalty if not provided),
  • With the use of an expense report template, you will no longer need to follow up with employees if information is missing,
  • It facilitates the exchange of information and saves time and effort,
  • Having a spreadsheet with pre-calculated amounts helps to limit the risk of accounting errors,
  • Using a standardized expense report template makes it easier to enter the information related to the expense in the accounts and speeds up the processing, validation and archiving of the report by the members of the accounting team,
  • Using a standardized model therefore optimizes the expense report management process, from its creation to its accounting (it is charged to a class 6 account),
  • This is a first step towards automating your expense management process.

The expense report can be processed in 2 ways:

  • Actual expenses: the employer reimburses the exact amount spent by the employee. The bill must be verified and validated before being reimbursed (this system is preferred for one-time expenses),
  • The scale or flat rate (set each year byURSSAF): the company provides a fixed amount for the employee who travels frequently. This method also allows the company to reduce the time allocated to managing its expenses.

Finally, the expense report only concerns business expensesHere are some examples:

  • Travel expenses advanced by employees to attend a meeting, trade show or convention,
  • Mileage expenses for employees who use their vehicle to travel in the course of their duties,
  • Accommodation expenses related to a business trip of 2 days or more,
  • Catering expenses incurred in connection with a client lunch.

How to create an expense report template?

Different expense report templates can be easily found on the internet, by typing " expense reporttemplate" in Google.

You can also create your own, in an Excel spreadsheet, Numbers or Google Sheet for example. You can choose the shape, the colors or the way of presenting the different information. However, you should be aware that some elements must be included because it is based on legal provisions.

Also, for the expense report to be valid and its amount deducted from the company's social security charges, the expenses must be strictly for the company's needs.

Certain information is mandatory and theexemption limits must be respected: they are set each year by thetax authorities and concern business travel, geographical mobility and teleworking.

What information must be included in your expense report template?

There are certain mandatory mentions. Otherwise, the expense report is considered null and void and the expenses incurred are reclassified as benefits in kind. They are then taxable for the employee and subject to social security contributions for the company.

The information to be displayed is :

  • The identity and contact information of the employee, for a better follow-up during the internal validation process of the expense report,
  • The identity and contact information of the employer,
  • Details of expenses(mileage, accommodation, catering, etc.),
  • The date of the expense and the date of the claim,
  • And the payment method used to pay.

If you reimburse expenses at actual cost, you will need to retrieve the corresponding receipts (receipt, paper or PDF invoice) in order to have proof that the expense is real and to be able to deduct the VAT.

Records must be kept for 10 years.

If the receipt is lost, the employee may request a duplicate or provide a bank statement accompanied by a sworn statement specifying the amount, nature and context of the expense.

The law imposes a maximum repayment period of 5 years (five-year limitation period). The period can of course be shorter. Also, it must appear in a memo, the collective agreement to which the company is attached or in its internal expenditure policy. Companies generally apply a time limit of one month.

VAT point: transportation,mileage and accommodation expenses are not subject to VAT.

3 examples of expense report templates

Here are three Excel expense report templates that will make it easy to collect key information on expenses incurred and calculate compensation amounts for mileage expenses.

These models are a basis and can be adapted to the specificities of your internal company policy (this is what we advise you to do).

Model of expense report :

Lodging expenses must be supported by an itemized invoice, stating the number of nights, all room charges and the zero balance.

These expenses are only justified if the travel location is more than 50 km from home or more than 1.5 hours by public transportation.

Model of expense report mileage :

Expense reports must indicate the reason for the trip, the location of the mission, the total number of kilometers traveled and the fiscal power of the vehicle . Remember to refer to the current mileage scale to calculate deductible expenses.

The calculation of mileage allowances (IK) takes into account costs related to generalwear and tear of the vehicle, vehicle maintenance and upkeep (e.g., tire wear ), fuel costs and insurance costs.

Please note that the rates change every year, so be sure to take into account its update to avoid paying additional fees. Please also note that the rates are different depending on the type of vehicle: cars, two-wheelers of less than 50 cm³ and two-wheelers of more than 50 cm³.

If you only need to pay for mileage, you can use our template with meter readings (at the start and at the end), the number of kilometers traveled and the 2022 compensation scale(fiscal horsepower and kilometer brackets). If you are reimbursing mileage expenses on a flat rate basis, you do not need to refer to the IK scale, you just need to deduct 10% of the total amount including VAT spent.

Only business trips are deductible. The first 40 km between the workplace and the home are taken into account in the calculation of the allowances (certain cases may however be exempted beyond 40 km, such as: a transfer, a precarious job, the spouse's employment...). Also check that your employees' business travel is covered by their insurance. Reimbursements for travel expenses must be added to the employee's declared salary.

Model of catering expense report :

Meal expenses with guests from outside the company must mention the reason for the invitation as well as the identity, position and company name of each guest.

Remember to write these items on the back of the receipt as well.

Once you have completed the template, you can save it in PDF format. If your internal expense management process does not include an electronic data interchange (EDI) system or an electronic signature, you must save your expense report in PDF format in order to establish a reliable audit trail and confirm the probative value of your expenses to thetax authorities.

Expense report table in Excel: what are the alternatives?

In companies, expense reports are commonplace, which is why it is important to have a simple, clear and well-known process for handling them.

Managing expense reports in a simple spreadsheet has its limitations: time wasted on manual entry (the task is time-consuming and unproductive for employees), possible entry errors, etc. In the end, this format - although simple to use - is not always ideal when it comes to processing the expense report.

There are expense report management software programs to simplify the task and automate the process as much as possible.

They represent an investment, but they allow you to save time and reduce the risk of errors. In other words, they help you streamline your processes and save valuable time.

They are also useful for managing expense reports, validations and reimbursements.

They facilitate the work of employees on the move (making them more productive), simplify the life of managers who have to validate expense reports and save time for the accounting teams who check them, control them and proceed with their reimbursement.

Switching from Excel to a software program allows you to avoid error-prone re-entries and, above all, to save time and therefore productivity .

Some tools provide for the automatic addition of the receipt to the expense report to avoid the loss of invoices or CB receipts, which are essential to justify the expense and allow the employee tobe reimbursed.

Some tools also offer bank cards for employees, which can be configured for each need and which simplify the management of expense reports.

In summary, expense report software allows you to:

  • centralize your documents thanks to a cloud-based solution,
  • to make repayments more quickly,
  • Track expenses in real time for greater visibility on your key indicators,
  • and to be in compliance with the latest tax regulations.

Expense report management with Regate

Regate is the all-in-one tool that allows you to manage your invoices, expenses and expense reports. You can centralize all your receipts by scanning them in one click thanks to its OCR tool, generate accounting entries automatically but also avoid theuse of your employees'expense reports thanks to payment cards.

The Regate bank card allows employees to make expenses related to their mission (business lunch, business trip...) without having to advance sums that are sometimes substantial. On the company side, it reduces management time related to expense reports by avoiding them as much as possible.

In addition, with Regate, you can:

  • Digitize the expense report in one click (just take a picture). It is then automatically transferred to your Regate space and the photo of the receipt has evidential value for the tax authorities. As a result, you no longer need to chase paper invoices, which are often scattered and sometimes untraceable. Thanks to Regate, all documents are centralized and well saved;
  • Customize the Regate tool to your company's image: set expense limits to avoid unpleasant surprises, define approval rules to speed up the validation of expense reports and allocate each expense type to the corresponding budget. During your on-boarding phase, the Regate teams are available 100% to assist you in the fine-tuning of your account.

Moreover, Regate is a scalable platform that accompanies you at every stage of your development. With a powerful rules engine, you can truly customize it to your specific needs. Finally, the mobile application allows your employees to easily create their expense reports and attach the corresponding receipt, so that the approver only has to validate it, in one click.

By adopting the Regate bank card (available in physical or virtual format), you can eliminate the need to manage expense reports: all you have to do is pre-approve your employees' expenses. And it's certainly the fastest and most efficient way to secure your business expenses.

Ready to see what you can do with Regate?

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