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What is an Expense Report?

The expense report aids in tracking employee expenses for office tasks. The expense report provides visibility into employee spending and acts as a reference point during employee reimbursement processes.

How does it work?

Simply put, employees log their expenses along with the receipts in the expense reimbursement form or a templatized expense report for a particular period. The employee forwards the document to the relevant manager and the bookkeeper. Once the expenses are approved and checked by the manager, the bookkeeper logs the entries into the casebook and passes on information to initiate the payment.

Create professional expense reports with our free expense report template.

What is an Expense Report Used For?

Expense reports help businesses track employee spending in different categories yearly, quarterly, and monthly. Expense reports improve employee spending visibility for travel, meal, lodging, maintenance, and more.

The expense categories vary from company to company. By digitizing or logging them properly using a good expense report template, businesses can work towards reducing excess spending.

How to create an expense report sheet?

Creating expense reports is simple. You need to train your employees to quickly develop accurate employee reimbursement reports for a given period. Here are the steps to create a simple expense report sheet.

  • Find an expense report template or use an expense tracking template.
  • Customize the line items - add all your expense details correctly.
  • Add the receipt links in a proper folder and attach them to relevant entries.
  • Double-check all your expenses
  • Send them to your manager for approval.

Many small businesses utilize a typical expense report template, such as the one provided by Nanonets. You can also check out expense report templates in excel and word.

Most small business accounting software programs available today do not provide a technique to make an expense report, even though accounting software is essential to the expenditure management procedure.

You can use Nanonets accounting automation software to extract the information from expense report and log it automatically into the accounting software. Learn more.

How to use the Nanonets expense report template?

Get the Nanonets expense report template.

The Nanonets expense report template is present on Google Sheets. But you can download it and use it in excel. Let’s see how to use the expense report template.

Using the template in Google Sheets

  • Open the expense order template in Google Sheets.
  • Click on File and Select “Make a Copy” to add the expense report template to your drive.
  • Open the template and edit the line items.
  • Add your employment details, period, and expense details properly.
  • Add your receipt or proof of payment in the line item column itself.
  • Delete column J and send the report to your manager for approval.

You can use the Nanonets receipt scanner or our receipt ocr tool to extract information in bulk if you have many receipts.

Using the expense report template in Excel

To use it as an expense report excel template, after making a copy of the document in your drive, select download as “Microsoft Excel (.xlsx).”

How to download the expense report template as a PDF?

Follow these steps to download the expense report as a PDF file from Google sheets.

  • Select the expense report template tab.
  • Make the relevant changes to the expense report tab.
  • Hide the columns on the right with the irrelevant text.
  • Select File > Download as > PDF
  • Make these selections. Page Orientation - Portrait and Scale - Fit to Page

What needs to be included in an expense report?

The expense report contents can vary due to company requirements. But here, I’ve tried to include the information you must include in your expense report.

  • The period for the expense report.
  • Company details - like company name and logo
  • Employee details - employee name, ID, department and manager.
  • Expense details
  • Date of expense
  • Description of expense
  • Expense category
  • Expense Amount
  • Receipts
  • Area for comments in case expense isn’t approved.
  • Subtotal of all expenses
  • An area for managers to approve and sign off the expenses.

Employees may be asked to attach receipts with mail depending on the company expense policies, specify the mode of payment, or include an explanation for the expense. Study the company expense policy carefully while creating an expense report so you can edit your expense report template properly.

How do I create an expense report in Excel?

You can use excel to manage your expense report easily. Let’s see how you can create an expense report in excel.

  • Create a new file in excel.
  • Write your company details on the top of the spreadsheet. Use the company logo along with your company name.
  • Write your details, department and manager details. Include the period of the expenses boldly in the report.
  • Leave a blank row. Now we will create the main expense details area.
  • Include headings for every column on the 2nd or 3rd line down from the top. The first line ought to be labeled "Expense." "Type" and "Date" ought to be the following columns. "Amount" should be the column that follows "Date." Regarding these column headings, see the policies of your company. Some businesses insist on a statement that reads "billable or non-billable."
  • Start with the first charge displayed under the "Expense" column and enter all of your products in that order. The cost will be identified by the supplier's name or the general service purchased.
  • At the bottom of the sheet, put the total amount by using the formula: =Sum(all the amount tabs)
  • Then highlight all of the "Amount" boxes, and press "Enter" to give the summation.
  • Both the expense sheet and the page with all the receipts attached should be printed out.
  • Send the finished expense report to your manager.


Instead, you can use a readymade expense report template and download it as an excel spreadsheet.

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