How to deal with an expense with no proof?

We all know that managing expenses can be a very daunting task. It is both time and energy consuming. Processes can be slow, unclear and tedious for both employees and the finance department. What can make this process even slower would be the loss of a proof of payment document to accompany the expense report. This is also frustrating for the employee who loses the accompanying proof document. The proof document is usually mandatory for a lot of expenses, which cannot be submitted without it.  

💡As a reminder, an expense report is a document submitted by an employee that justifies an expense done in the course of their work that should be refunded by the employer. 

If employees are unable to provide a proof document, because they lost it, they may not be able to get a refund and therefore must pay for that expense with their own money. This can cause frustration and stress. Luckily, there are alternatives and other ways to proceed in the unlucky chance this happens. Let’s go through them in this article. 

What to do if you lose an expense proof?   

When losing a receipt or an invoice, the first thing to do is definitely not panic over it. There are many solutions to this unpleasant event. Here’s what you can do: 

Return to the merchant to look for the receipt 

As said in the title, this advises going back to the merchant’s location and asking for a copy of the lost receipt. This task may not be very efficient timewise, but it can help find the missing receipt by asking for a duplicate. Shops are obliged to keep all transactions that occurred for a specific timeline (this can depend on the country). This may be worth it in the case of large and valuable purchases. Once you retrieved your receipt, you are free to fill in your expense report as usual. 

Use the lump sum refund 

In case no justifying document is found, the reimbursement can be done by following certain reimbursement regulations, depending on the country. These regulations are estimations of how much a meal would cost in a certain region, or how much a hotel is in a certain city. They are fixed amounts. If the employee paid more than what this refund has offered them, they will have to pay the remaining amount from their personal money, unless they are able to provide, you guessed it! A proof document! This solution is useful in the sense that employees that lost a receipt don’t have to pay the whole amount of the expense. It is, however, not perfect.  

Show a bank statement 

A simple solution that can be tolerated by some employers is submitting a credit card statement with the purchase history including the date, amount, type of expense, where and who the merchant is. In the case of small, clear purchases, this can be a replacement for the justifying document. This is a good solution that should, however, not be taken for granted and overused instead of sending the correct receipt or invoice.  

Provide a sworn statement 

One of the last resorts, in case all else fails, would be signing a sworn statement. This statement must include the employee’s name, address, and signature along with all the details concerning the purchase. This is not a perfect solution and should not be used too often because of fiscal concerns. It can, nevertheless, be useful when there is no bank statement to support the expense claim. This could occur, for instance, if the expense was paid for in cash. 

Remind employees of your spending policy

As a last advice, it is crucial to frequently remind employees of your spending policy, especially regarding receipts or invoice. It is essential that they understand that they should keep a receipt after making a work-related purchase in order to be reimbursed after. Same goes with what type of expenses are allowed, as well as the purchasing limits.

Although there are solutions to losing your receipts or other proof documents, some companies have decided to follow radical strategies when it comes to this, and directly refuse any expense that is not accompanied with proof. This cuts time spent on the long process of finding replacements and verifying the reliability of the documents provided. 

However, the best way to avoid this trouble for both the employer and the employee would be by digitizing your expense reports. as well as having a clear expense policy.  

Expensya helps you deal with your business expenses

An expense reports management software will spare you the concern of losing your receipts and falling into a disagreement with your employer. A simple picture of your expense will store it in a cloud, keeping it safe, and keeping you worry-free. With Expensya, expense management software, employees can simply take a picture of their receipt on the app on their phone and discard it straight away, without risking losing it.  

 Expensya can help you optimize your spend management. Expensya replaces the strain of expense management with simplicity and clarity. With its user-friendly interface, submitting expense reports has never been this easy for employees. Processes are streamlined and more efficient, allowing managers and employees to focus on what truly matters.  

Say goodbye to expenses with no receipt. Try Expensya now for free!  


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