Managing your expense claims as a small business

If you are a small business owner, you know how important it is to keep on top of your expense claims to provide adequate data for end of year tax returns and quarterly BAS statements. Here are some tips to help you manage your personal expense claims and any claims from your staff. 

Digitise your receipts and expense claim procedure

The ATO now accepts scanned receipts as evidence for claims. Many of the cloud based accounting software packages for small business even have smartphone apps so that your staff can submit claims from the road. This can be a great option if you have travelling salespeople, or staff who spend a lot of time on the road. Timely expense claims maximise the accuracy of claims and let you query your staff on claims while they are still fresh in their heads.

Digital receipts also help you to keep a track of records for the required 5 years, without the need for space consuming boxes of files and paperwork.

Approve claims regularly

Rather than letting expense claims pile up until you have staff clamouring for money or a looming tax refund, set aside a regular time for approving receipts. The time required and frequency of claim approval will depend on the volume and complexity of the claims in your business -- salespeople who claim daily for multiple meals and travel expenses may require more frequent claim approval than office-based administrators. This stops your time getting booked in with meetings and you running out of time to deal with this important administration.

Keep your accountant on speed dial

If you are not sure which claims are tax deductible, it makes sense to contact your accountant quickly and ask them. Most business have reoccurring expenses, so you should be able to quickly build a picture of which expenses are deductible and which are not. It saves you needing to redo substantial amounts of book keeping later if you put the wrong sorts of expenses through. In many cases, you can also give your accountant access to your cloud based accounting software so they can monitor your processes and give you advice on your accounts in a real time basis.

A well thought out approach to expense claim management can help you save time and stress at tax time. If you are looking to optimise your expense claim, why not call accountants to discuss the best options for your business.