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9 Things You Don’t Want to Do for Your Next Expense Report

In the not so distant past, I used to sit at my desk and sift through coworkers’ receipts. One by one I would tape them to paper and scan each image to myself. Then began the process of saving each scanned file and attaching them to the proper trip in our expense management system. I hear some companies even make their employees go through this expense report process themselves!

Isn’t there a better way?!

Not familiar with this nightmare? Consider yourself lucky and let me walk you through a day in the life. Or maybe this hits all too close to home…

Collect paper receipts for all your work-related expenses.

How are all those receipts supposed to fit in your… back pocket… wallet… or that credit card pocket on the back of your phone?

Stuff all these receipts into an envelope.

Well, at least they’ll all be in the same place. Just don’t lose the whole thing! Side note: Wait until you are out of sight from the barista you were just flirting with before pulling out your new envelope wallet. She might not be that hip yet.

Spend hours organizing these receipts.

What a great excuse for skipping that exercise class you were going to drag yourself to on Saturday morning.

Type all your expenses up manually.

Forget adult coloring books. This is a way more fun activity to keep your hands busy while you’re binge-watching Stranger Things on Netflix.

Tape your receipts to a sheet of paper and scan them. (Like a torturous game of literal copy and paste).

Anyone else find copy and paste to be the most difficult part of the transition between a Mac and a PC? Forget remembering CTRL-C versus COMMAND-C and just do the copy and pasting by hand!

Combine your manually entered expenses and scanned receipts into an expense report.

Now you can also get out of that happy hour date, post-workout class, that you didn’t really want to go to either.

Wait (seemingly forever) as your manager manually reviews each expense.

Your manager doesn’t want to miss out on all the fun you’ve been having. Time to duplicate your efforts!

Make manual adjustments to your expense report if your manager finds a specific item unacceptable.

Just when you thought you were done, your expense report is back in your lap again!

Drop your expense report into an accounting/HR black hole, wondering when your reimbursement will be processed, let alone approved.

No worries, right? You can totally cover this month’s extra large credit card bill and the reimbursement will be a nice surprise later. It’ll come right as the sting of that bill payment is wearing off!

It’s about time this picture got a makeover, right?

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