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Expense Submission and Filing: 7 Mistakes to Avoid

Expense submission and filing is one of the most challenging tasks for any employee as they need to track every expenditure incurred during their business trip. Then, they need to fill out expense reports on a monthly basis to be reimbursed for their expenses, such as cab fares and lunch bills. It is also crucial for businesses to keep track of these employee expenses to file taxes efficiently. 

expense submission and filing mistakes

However, during expense submission and filing, employees often make mistakes, such as overlooking certain expenses, making data-entry errors, misplacing necessary receipts, or filing the same expense twice. These mistakes can lead to delayed/no reimbursement, fraud, tax penalties, and many more problems which can cost you and your company.

Here are 7 common mistakes you can avoid during expense submission and filing.

1. Not Claiming Expenses

Employee expenses such as travel, meals, entertainment, transport, and miscellaneous office expenses fall under reimbursable expenses, which employees can claim. If you do not claim these expenses, it adds to additional spending. 

However, sometimes, you forget to claim these expenses. This can happen because you are too busy with your work and forget about it. Or, you simply don’t know that these expenses are reimbursable.  

A solution for this is to use expense management software that tracks all your expenses. Every time you incur an expense, you can simply click a picture and upload it on the software while on the go. The software also sends reminders to submit your expense report. 

2. Overlooking Cash Payments

While on a business trip, employees generally use their corporate or credit/debit cards to make expenses. Few places also accept ‘contactless’ payments through digital apps. When they pay through these apps, employees receive a message from their respective banks with every transaction, making it easier to track. 

However, employees sometimes need to make cash expenditures in places where the card is not accepted. Such spending may or may not come with receipts. Hence, these payments are difficult to track. 

Employees who don’t have receipts usually forget to file those expenses, making them lose out on reimbursements. Therefore, when employees make a cash payment, they must ask for the bill or receipt to get reimbursements. 

3. Not Knowing Company’s Expense Policies

Every company has its own set of expense policies, which the employees must be aware of. If not, they may make mistakes, which may be detected as fraudulent activity. 

Hence, to avoid such suspicions, get a copy of your company’s expense policy document. Make sure you go through them. You can also suggest that your travel manager invests in expense management software that lets you view company policies in real-time. The software also sends alerts every time an out-of-policy expense is filed. This will help you adhere to the guidelines, thus, file expenses correctly. 

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4. Losing or Misplacing Receipts

Expense receipts are proof of employee expenses incurred. Without receipts/expense documents, companies cannot reimburse the amount, which is a loss to the employees. Hence, it is crucial that you don’t lose their receipts. 

The best solution to prevent losing or misplacing receipts is mobile expense reporting. Mobile expense reporting is the method of filing expenses in real-time from anywhere across the globe at any time with expense management software. All you need to do is capture receipts and submit expense reports digitally. So, even if you lose the physical copies of receipts, they will be stored digitally. 

5. Failing to Track Mileage Expenses

Employees sometimes use their vehicles to travel long distances for client meetings or conferences and spend much on petrol/diesel. In such cases, they need to track their mileage expenses to get reimbursed. Failing to track mileage expenses can burn a hole in your pocket, especially with the expensive fuel charges. 

You can track mileage expenses by using expense management software. Using this software will give you an accurate idea of how much you have spent on the fuel and the distance covered. The software also includes a live GPS tracker,, which provides real-time mileage information. 

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6. Using an Outdated Expense Tracking System

Tracking expenses with an outdated method can lead to several problems. Using the traditional manual methods such as spreadsheets, paperwork, etc., can lead to data entry errors, missing data, and many more. 

Moreover, manual processes are highly time-consuming and taxing, leading to delays in reimbursements. 

Therefore, you should ditch the traditional manual method of tracking expenses and instead opt for expense management automation. Expense management automation is a method in which you can automate the expense process, such as approvals, payments, and reimbursements. Automation can help you overcome the challenges you face during manual expense reimbursement and reimburse your amount quickly. 

7. Providing Inaccurate Documents

Sometimes, inadvertently employees produce incorrect documents during an expense submission process. It can lead to penalties, and employees may be fined for doing so. Therefore, submitting accurate receipts and complying with expense policies are essential. 

Therefore, prior to expense filing and submission, clarify receipt submission policies with your managers or the finance department, so you avoid being fined. Also, verify each receipt yourself before expense submission, so you do not attach wrong receipts for the expenses.

Expense Submission and Filing are Essential

Business expenses are vital for every employee. If they are not filed correctly or mishandled, it can lead to financial consequences. Therefore, employees need to exercise caution for expense submission and filing. They can reduce overspending and ensure policy compliance by avoiding these mistakes. Making expense submission and filing a priority ensures every penny spent is being spent wisely. 

Implementing automated travel and expense software is the best way to track, file, and submit expenses accurately. ITILITE’s automated expense management software helps you automate expenses by integrating expense filing, approvals, and reimbursements in a single platform. 

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