Online Expense Reports for Startups: SaaS Management

March 20, 2021
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Is it taking quite a while for accounting to get to finalized audits or financial reports? Maybe your startup is just getting started with internal expense tracking. Or perhaps this is the first time you’ve been asked to file an expense report. There’s absolutely no shame in any of that. And the process doesn’t have to be daunting. 

We’re actually here to give you tangible ways to ease your reporting needs with all you need to know about expense reports.

Cut back on time spent furnishing these files. And learn about innovative ways of letting expense management software deal with what would otherwise be very demanding and possibly overwhelming tracking tasks. So, let’s get down to everything you need to know about expense report filing. 

First, what’s an expense report?

Whenever a team member or a business partner engages in what typically corresponds to out-of-pocket expenses proper to our startup endeavors, they’ll need to be reimbursed. And those professional costs need to be recorded through what are most commonly some sort of form or filing and billing that we call expense reports. 

Our stakeholders can be compensated for the funds we technically and rightfully owe them out of these internal processes. But we also need to make sure that is the case at times. And these kinds of files help in that sense, too. 

But be a techie about expense reports

However, as a note on the above, those big old binders full of paper bills and monthly tags aren’t necessarily what we need to get our accounting needs sorted. 

We’re also right in the perfect era to move on to digital everything almost. And that includes online expense filing and tracking if we’d like. So, we’ll expand on making the best use of online expense management software further down below. 

Yet, save up considerable time in the process.

When we automate expense management, we free up tons of time for more pressing business needs. Streamlining these processes can cut back on the number of human resources we need to complete for what’s essentially also low added value for a running business. 

Expense reporting is necessary, even vital, and almost mandatory to complete, of course. But we can certainly be focusing more energy on other aspects of a growing company if we rely on online tools to manage it all for us. So, let’s see how to manage expense report for startups. 

How do you manage expense reporting?

Start with a policy around the topic. Give people guidance regarding what reasonable business expenses mean and how to go about filing for reimbursement for those. Include validation, control, and reviews in the process so that you can make sure company guidelines are followed before payments are issued. 

Know you might need very personalized steps completed before your accounting team can feel safe to move funds around, so check with them on this. In the end, they’ll be the ones dealing with these tasks, and it’s great to set up these kinds of systems in collaboration with everyone involved. 

Also, bear in mind that, as teams scale, so do the number of tasks and duties required to keep these financial processes working. And there’s also the human aspect of making mistakes and committing frauds to factor into this equation. Because of this and many other reasons into which we’ll get in a minute, we certainly recommend relying on automated software processes to get your expense reporting done neatly. 

Essential details to expense reporting

So, what do expense reports include, necessarily? 

In the most basic of all formats, you’d have an Excel sheet that outlines the date in which expenses happened and details on them, such as reason and people involved. Of course, these files are open to other tools, such as Word, PDF, Pages, or any other similar program. 

You can also be as neat or broad about this as you wish. However, expense reports need to include receipts as much as details on where the respective costs took place. These can refer to a car rental company, parking fees, gas, air flight costs, and hotel or restaurant bills, for example. 

And you can add a line for the staff member’s title or position to make it easier to track per department or team and akin titles. Remember to log not just the date on which reimbursements are being filed. You’ll also need the dates on which the activities being covered actually took place. There’s a margin of mild significance between the two.  

Always set room for taxes, also! That’s another notable aspect of why we need to keep tabs on everything we, including everyone in our company, spend. 

How can online expense reporting tools help?

To all this, expense management software or online platforms for this goal can help tremendously. With automated tools, our bills’ digital images can automatically translate into full sets of necessary details that are stored directly to a cloud, for instance. The report is generated out of a .jpg itself! Can you believe that? It does wonders for our speediness, really. 

Then, automatic notifications let stakeholders within our companies know that expenses have been tracked. These include letting accountants know that they should review and hopefully approve funds being paid. Or they can simply send these back for necessary adjustments. 

You can set limits on these tools to handle precise internal budgets, too. And archives are neatly stored in a cloud-based platform to which all relevant parties can have access at their own and at any time. 

A great advantage to using centralized tools is drawing conclusions on our past expenses to improve our operations in concrete terms. When you have clear access to all the data we’ve presented here, it’s easier to draw monthly, quarterly, or even yearly conclusions. Those can feed vital projections that help our startup with better financial decisions and strategies. 

All in all, online platforms such as Recurring that are set out to manage recurring expenses can help organize and manage professional expenses. For us, it’s a matter of dealing with internal reimbursements quite smoothly while saving your company and team members considerable time and money daily.
Care to find out how Recurring can help with this and many other tasks? Check Recurring out now.

Angelica A.
Freelance and Remote Web Content Writer is the current hat under which Ang keeps on the global move. Writing blogs, website content and (especially) Facebook ads for diverse small businesses, entrepreneurs and international parties is part of the common work under Ang's belt. Otherwise, you'll see Ang riding a motorcycle on their vegan way out of theater rehearsal.
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