Searching For an Expense Report Template? Here Are 5 Good Reasons Why You Shouldn’t

Hold it right there, friend. Before you venture any further in your search for a sample expense report template, there's something you should know. Actually, there are five things you should know. Here are five good reasons your business should stay away from the manual expense report template.

Of course, if you want nothing to do with “manual,” you can test drive the leading cloud-based expense management system now for free.  

1. Manual processes are a nightmare

Consider the following scenario:

A department manager makes a purchase using a corporate credit card. If this manager is using an expense report template, she will need to manually enter all the purchase information, which involves scrolling through column after column of expense categories and accounting codes. Then, the manager will need to save the paper receipt to include with the expense report later. The manager’s superior will need to approve the report and the various receipts before sending to accounting. If and when accounting finds errors, the expense report is shipped back to the manager and the process starts over again.

With an expense report template, inefficient manual processes play out thousands of times per year at most companies. Why be inefficient if you don’t have to be? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could bypass all these inefficient scenarios? What if the manager’s credit card transaction flowed directly into the accounting system? If a receipt is required – in which case the manager will receive an alert – the manager can quickly snap a photo and upload it on the spot via a smartphone. No paper trail needed.  

2. Real people work at your company, right?

Human error is inevitable. Every time you transfer data from receipt to spreadsheet or from one spreadsheet to another, the potential for error arises.

Your staff doesn’t want to enter data, and they certainly don’t want to mine spreadsheets for errors when the data doesn’t match. They’d rather be working on projects that can make a meaningful contribution toward organizational goals.  

3. Lack of visibility means lack of control

Who wouldn’t want to make informed financial decisions faster? It’s extremely difficult to consolidate company-wide data with an expense report template, and it’s virtually impossible to do so in real time.

When companies rely on manual entry, the entire company becomes reactive, struggling to keep up with changing T&E policies, technology infrastructure, regulatory requirements and tax codes.  

4. Policing the T&E policy is difficult and time consuming

When companies use an expense report template, it’s usually the finance department that does the policing. They’re forced to play “bad cop.” And for many in finance, playing bad cop is the last thing they want to do. Enforcing a manual expense management process strains relationships and lowers employee satisfaction for all involved, which includes more people than you think.

Conversely, a smarter, cloud-based process means the policy is also enforced automatically. Nobody needs to be the enforcer because the system does it for them. Companies can set up preferred providers, alerts, restrictions and smarter approval processes for specific out-of-policy requests.  

5. If your systems aren’t integrated, you’re running in mud

When the data in your core backend system isn’t accurate, you’re using bad information to make decisions. That’s hardly good for business.


Cloud-based expense management doesn’t just feature deep integration with your core system. It can also integrate with hundreds of third-party applications to pull in the real-time data that enables effective cost management and employee collaboration.

Ready to quit searching for that sample expense report template yet? Essential Guide for Expense Reporting_CTA


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