O'Reilly logo

Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

3–18. Automate Expense Reporting

One of the tasks of the accounts payable staff is to check carefully all of the expenses reported in an employee’s expense report to ensure that all expenses are valid and have the correct supporting documentation. This can be a major task if there are many expense reports. This will be the case if a company is a large one or has a large proportion of personnel who travel, which is common if a company is in the consulting or sales fields. Luckily, some companies have found a way to get around all of this review work.

A best practice that nearly eliminates the expense report review work of the accounts payable staff is to create a “smart” computer program that walks an employee through the expense reporting process, flagging problem expenses as soon as they are entered and requiring back-up receipts for only selected items. The system is highly customized, since the review rules will vary by company. For example, one company may have a policy of requiring back-up for all meals, whereas another company may automatically hand out a per diem meals payment and will not care about meals receipts. Such variations in expense reporting policies will inevitably result in an automated expense reporting system that is closely tailored to each company’s needs; such a system should probably be programmed in-house, which is a very expensive undertaking. Due to the high level of expense, this best practice will only pay for itself if it offsets a great deal of ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required